I’m Scared of Editing

Purple Lights

I have two books in editing and a third almost there. I’m doing this round of editing, I haven’t sent them out yet, although I will be doing so. It’s a terrifying thing for me, and one I haven’t faced entirely. I need to go through these books and re-read them, then figure out what works and what doesn’t. That idea is scary because I’m afraid I won’t recognise it. I’m afraid that I will see things that are crap as good and things that are alright as crap. I’m not afraid of the second one because whatever… if things get cut it’s all good.

I have a bad habit of telling too much in my first draft; I don’t use enough description. My first draft is usually shorter than subsequent drafts, and I don’t use enough description in those drafts either. That’s my big fear; that I won’t add enough to the subsequent drafts. I need to slow down my scenes.

Second biggest fear is around clarity. I need my stories to be tight, focused. When I read I like meandering stories that have strange moments where the main characters go for a picnic or something; I like the plot to come organically, with moments that don’t relate. Maybe that’s part of why I hate the everything’s related trope more than almost any other trope (there is no reason why the villain needs to be the protagonist’s long-lost half-brother, and it cheapens the story. The last time this trope was effective was The Empire Strikes Backs). It is a shortcut to having to create motivations and characters that are likeable. To me the meandering makes me relate more to the characters, but I get that for most people that’s not the case. It means I have to change my ways of doing things.

So, editing is scarier than writing for me. That’s probably also because I don’t find writing 2500 hundred words a day a hard thing to do. I am however a slow as molasses editor; it’s a new skill for me.

So, wish me luck!

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