Editing Fears

I am crap at editing.

I’ve mostly gotten over my procrastination when it comes to drafting. I can submerge myself into the process, into the dream of my story, the breath of its world. But editing? Ooh, I skip around, I sidle, I slip. Everything is so much more fascinating than reworking that piece.

And I have to get over that.

It took way too long to edit 1,400 words yesterday (and I ended up adding another 100 words to boot) but it’s done. Next, I have to send this second draft to my writing group and get some feedback.

As far as today goes, I plan on working on a short story in progress and finishing a writing exercise that the group started last week. It won’t be a complete short story, just a scene. If it grows into something else, so be it.

But what’s coming up, what’s ready to dawn on February 1st? Editing. Boy howdy, lots of editing. It will be time to begin the revision of BLOOD, and the longer its been since working on it and the closer to February I come, the more sure I am that it will be utterly unfixable shite.

To get over this, I’m trying to assure myself that I will take things in stages, that I will read the whole thing first, taking structural notes, and then mapping out the story and making those big changes, then rewriting the scenes that need it, adding scenes that need to be there and removing or merging ones that don’t, and then the final polish, the last spin in the stone smoother. And then?

Then we’ll see.

But the specter of my first ever finished (drafted) novel, SPARROW KING, looms. I swear to god, writing and finishing that broken, mangled creature was the hardest thing I have ever done. I wept, I raged, I broke it and myself. And when I came out of the other end, I felt like anything was possible.

Trying to edit the damn thing soon took care of all that extra euphoria, though, and the crash was hard. I only got about eight chapters in, trying to line edit and structurally edit at the same time, a method I’d come across on the Internet from a well-published author, a method that did not work for me as a first-time writer. All it did was convince me that I wrote the worst thing ever, so it was trunked and that box has never been opened again.

So. There will be a lot of screwing my courage to the sticking place come February 1st, because I’m at the point where I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. It’s all new, all huge and impossible. I can’t fit it in my head all at once, and that’s when I get scared.

But that’s how this thing works, right? I won’t know how to do it until I do it.

So let’s do it.


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