Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Editing Your Baby

Writing a book feels a little like giving birth. For months you have poured your heart out, worked diligently, and created something unique to you.

Now comes the editing phase. This can be hard on writers. You don't want to change the idea you were trying to convey when you wrote it. It's painful to cut whole paragraphs or whole chapters. What will you fill in with? Your book is getting shorter and shorter the more you cut.

Never fear. Having someone else read and make suggestions is extremely helpful. They aren't as attached to it as you are and can make some good suggestions that can help the story along and actually make it better. To have the best experience here, I would say you need someone to help you who reads and likes the genre you are writing. Try reading it out loud to yourself. You will know when a sentence or chapter feels forced, labored, inconsistent, or unnecessary. You'll know if you need to reword or if you are using words too often. You have instinct, or you wouldn't be doing this in the first place.

In the end, it is still your baby and you'll be proud of the work you put into the story and the fact that you have a finished book.