This week I’ve been looking at editing. That dreaded word, the process of writing that strikes fear in the hearts of so many aspiring authors.
So how can we make this process less daunting? The easy (and expensive!) route is to hire an editor, someone you can throw your freshly written manuscript at and ask them to proofread and offer improvements to your story. But not all of us are able to afford this luxury and I’ve noticed that a lot of indie writers are turning to Beta readers to review their work at a significantly reduced rate, or even for free.
But if you’re anything like me and your work in progress is still very much in the reworking stage you may find that you’re not comfortable showing people your writing. That’s fine, but you’re going to have to get that piece up to a standard where you feel comfortable showing it off otherwise you’ll never establish yourself as an author. Imagine if J K Rowling had never submitted her work to any publishers, imagine if she’d given up after the first, or even second, rejection. We wouldn’t be living in a world where Harry Potter exists, he would just be one of the boys I went to school with (his name was Harry Potter, no relation to the character).
If you’ve read any self-help books on writing you’ll know there’s a method to writing: plot your story, develop your characters, write your book, edit the pages and submit your work to an editor. What they don’t tell you is that the step by step actions are all part of the same process and, don’t quote me on this because what I’m about to say is quite controversial, you are allowed to mix and match processes if they help you to reach your end goal.
You are allowed to edit as you go, as long as you don’t lose your flair for the story you are writing. You can plot as you go, edit and re-write your characters midway through the novel, as long as you get the story out of your head and into the pages it does not matter how you do it, as long as you do it.
So that’s my tip for you this week, find your best method of working, learn how to inspire your creative mind and get at least a scene of your story out of your head.