If there’s one thing that most authors can agree on, it’s that editing your own work, although necessary, can be a giant pain in the neck! You’ve just written ten pages and finally called it a day. You’re super excited about moving onto the next chapter or part of the book. So why would you want to start your next day by editing what you’ve spent hours on just a day ago?
The answer is simple – so that you don’t spend months on it later.
Many authors swear by the ‘edit before you write’ method. In this method, you simply begin your day of writing by going over everything you wrote the previous day. You will probably find a few spelling mistakes, gaps where you altogether missed words in your hurry to type, and maybe even get a better way of writing sections that are meant to have a high impact. Additionally, this allows you to remain updated with everything that’s been happening, especially when you get back to writing after a long weekend, and it ensures that you don’t forget the intricacies of the plot line or the general direction of the story. I’ve found that this method can also stop you from getting overwhelmed by your own work which can happen if you’re working on a book that has many parallel story lines.
Editing can be a drag, especially if you’re in a hurry to get your story completed. But employing the ‘edit before you write’ method when you’re on your second or third draft (depending on how clean and how close to the final version with which you are satisfied the draft is), can help you reduce the effort required at a later stage and can help you move ahead more effectively every day. Plus, you don’t end up finishing an entire novel only to discover, when you finally begin editing, that you’ve made a mistake which has compounded over the pages and effectively ruined a great chunk of your work.
What methods do you employ to keep your work moving smoothly? And how do you go about your editing? Share your thoughts on the editing aspect of an author’s work in the comments below.