Editing Angst

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I do a lot of editing as I write, some authors leave it until they have a completed first draft. Whatever your editing looks like, Mary Cathleen Clark expresses how it feels to be a word-murderer …

Southern Highways and Byways


I’m in the final stage of editing my manuscript for publication, which means I’ve been residing for a while in that special place in hell reserved for writers. See me over there? I’m tucked away behind the third brimstone pit on your left, smoldering notes scattered about me, and laptop clutched in my sweaty hands.

I need a break. I need inspiration. So it’s time to pause for a moment and remember why, of my own free will, I chose to be in Writers Hell.

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No truer words have ever been spoken. Any writer who thinks her/his first draft is ready to make its grand appearance before the reading public is delusional. Maybe the twentieth draft. Maybe.

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I butchered my story, cutting out description, exposition, dialogue, and backstory until I stripped its skeleton of all flesh. Lord, it looks so damned bare now. Does anyone have a spare jacket?

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I argued with myself–did I…

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8 thoughts on “Editing Angst

  1. I have just had the editing done by Dave Burton in the UK. Mainly typos and some suggestions as to make clear the intention of something. Self editing is done while I write, polishing it a bit better.
    At the end, the words have to satisfy you. No other judge or editor can make the words better or change the style. Your unique way of saying things will be crucial. But, as always, it is hard and a bit of a lonely voyage. I am sure you have done a good job, Julia. I am curious about your next publication.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a slow process, however you do it. Once I have edited to the extent of my ability, I have a professional edit done, and then comes more rewriting …

      My current novel is shaping up slowly, as health has meant I can’t do as much as I’d like as quickly as I want. It’s told from the viewpoint of a seventy five year old man recalling the summer of 1940, when he was evacuated as an eleven year old. Of course, there’s a touch of the paranormal in the shape of a ghostly character …

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I like that quote by Hemingway. Writing the first draft is hard enough. Editing makes it look like a child’s play and a waste of time. Sometimes I read my first draft and ask myself: what was I thinking writing all this crap?
    Writer’s hell is indeed a fine term.

    Liked by 1 person

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