Editing to Death

The one thing that amazed me during this process was that editing a “completed” book took longer than it took to write said book. Now there are a number of ways to get your book edited, if you want to pay for it. But just starting out, going to a professional or even a freelance editor was more than I could afford. Even so, I learned you can’t trust your computer to pick up on much of anything.

I tried to self edit the book… five times. Since I wrote the story I found my mind would fill in the blanks, because I knew what I meant when I wrote it. I did do some tricks to help myself such as; waiting a few months before editing, editing the chapters out of order, reading it out loud, and even changing font size. Anything to get my mind to look at it in a new way.

The best way is to have someone else read it. I had three different people read it. I asked them to for two reasons. First I knew I could trust them to give me an honest critique. Secondly each of them brought something different to the edit. First was my wife; she reads more than I do and I knew she would find the general flaws in grammar but more importantly in plot. Nothing drives her crazier than a poor plot line. Next up is a gaming friend who enjoys reading. She was the person I knew I could bounce story ideas off of to see what would work. I could trust her to let me know when something didn’t work and would make suggestions to add or fix. Lastly is one of my closet friends who is very competent with grammar. So much so, that I knew she would look at each sentence and just diagram it to pieces. With all three of them, I knew and got very different edit points and I think I got the best possible blend.

Ultimately though, you have to decide when to  let go. Let’s face it, every time I go through this, I can find something else to change. Is the book that bad, that it needs constant help? No, its actually pretty good, but unless you learn when to let go of it, the book will constantly change. These last two months leading up to the release of Griffin Rider has been a constant change. Just one more thing, or maybe I need to explain this better. I came to the point where I realized that the book was done, but I was editing it to death.

Its time to let it fly on its own.

17 Responses to Editing to Death

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