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.
They say there’s a book in everyone. They say writing is easy. They say there’s an author in everyone. But then they have something to say about everything; and they don’t exactly spend all their waking hours trying to breathe life into words.
The first Stephen King book I ever read, which wasn’t too long back, introduced me to the phrase with which most authors can relate.
“An author is a person who has taught his imagination to misbehave” – Stephen King
That is the difference between someone who writes because they can and someone who writes because they are inspired to. If you write for the love of writing then you know the joy and the satisfaction in bringing characters to life, creating worlds out of nothing and giving people a face, an appearance and an identity. If you write for the love of writing, you write because you’re driven – something inside you, and around you, inspires you to create. This is why I can relate with Stephen King’s statement. I get most of my inspiration from my dreams. A single moment is all I need to see and remember before letting my imagination run wild and create a life for the people in that moment, their identities, their decisions and their circumstances that lead to that moment.
Leaving fiction aside, you have content writing and unless you’re lucky enough to have chosen your forte, you will find yourself writing about anything and everything. Sometimes, you end up writing because you have to, not because you want to; and yet you keep writing because the pull of the written word is too strong for you to resist.
My blog is for just those people – people who write because they can’t stop themselves. Whether you write content for websites, fiction for children or anything in between, this blog will speak to you as I share through it my experiences on my journey as a writer. And as I share my life lessons, I hope to learn from yours. Tips, strategies and anecdotes – I’ll try and put them all up. And accompanying all that will be the stories born out of my misbehaved imagination!