Friday, January 25

To Edit or Not To Edit.... While Writing

WRITE WRITE WRITE, edit a little, WRITE WRITE WRITE.  This is typically my writing process.  When I wrote fanfiction, I would write the section I planned to post, read through it once or twice, tweak it, check for spelling and grammar errors then post it.  When I started writing original stuff that no one was going to see in the immediate future, I slacked even more on the editing and concentrated almost solely on writing.  Every so often when I was stuck on what to write next or feeling unmotivated, I would read back through and do the tweaking thing, but not really edit.  The story I am working on now is the first I have ever accepted from the beginning that it would need significant editing--serious amounts both cut and added in--before it was even ready for the reading and tweaking part.  I have never completed a book (one is really really close), but because of this I have never tried to edit and clean something I've written enough to try to submit it for publication.  I am dreading that day because I tend to get emotionally attached to EVERYTHING including unnecessary dialogue scenes in my writing.

That being said, the story that I'm writing now is the first one that I've felt confident I can continue to add stuff in, alter scenes, cut out pieces I've already written and really continue to morph and grow this thing even as I'm still writing.  Having first started it for a WriMo, I really wanted to keep that mentality and write as much as possible, leaving the editing for later, but I've found that going back to add things in as it occurs to me or as I realize I need it is actually working really well for me.  My writing buddy has been making suggestions and pointing out holes, etc. (I've been sending her a few chapters at a time) and I've been working on adding in what I can and altering what needs to be changed BEFORE moving forward.  As much as I don't want to get caught up in the editing and fixing, by defining things that need defining, adding details that were missed, and developing characters in different ways or at different times to improve their place in the story, it is actually helping me to write the rest of the story.  By ironing out details and clarifying various things, I am strengthening the foundation upon which the rest of the story will be built.


  1. I love editing. I love the possibilities and the redifining of my story in ways I hadn't original seen when I wrote the first draft. Fortunately I'm a plotting (a very thorough one), so it tends to be only little things that need dealing with at this point. Usually it's things that had come up when I temporarily strayed from my outline, because my characters know best.

    Good luck with your edits, Kas.

  2. Sounds like a plan, Kas. I think editing as you go along is a lifesaver down the road. Write as clean as you can and you'll save yourself a TON of work. Best of luck with your manuscript!

    Dropping by to say HI from Stephen Tremp's blogfest!

  3. Thanks, Stina! Wish I was as thorough as you the first time around! My first writings tend to be sort of a mess!

    Thank you, Cathy! I do TRY to write clean the first time through and I actually don't do too bad on the actual writing being clean... it's more so the flow and transitions that tend to need some work.

    Thank you both for stopping by!!


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