Saturday, February 19, 2011

Editing My Own Work

I read somewhere that your ability to edit your own work is the most important thing for writers. 

I agree that the writing is fun.  Story-telling is the best escape for me.  It's a way to build a world that I want to exist.  It's like a multi-dimensional puzzle that I build on the fly.  Every time I write a new chapter for the first time, I leave my desk happy.  I absolutely love it. 

Editing is hard.  Just now, I finished the first or second round of edits on the first eight chapters of a book I have been writing since the beginning of this writing class term that started in mid-January.  I have more chapters than that - fourteen total, which seems unbelievable to me in the span of five weeks of writing class. 

I had an idea for a story and basically vomited up one chapter at a time as fastwrites without editing myself at a pace of one chapter in about an hour.  I wrote this story out of sequence, mapping out the ideas for the chapters and attacking them as individual units, not worrying about the rest of it.  That did make it easy to quickly write the individual chapters.  But now I have the task of sewing them all together to make them flow.

It seems like every time I look at a chapter, even page through the first several chapters, I find something I want to change.  The thought of re-reading and editing the first eight just to do the same for the remaining six before writing the last three is starting to feel a little insurmountable today.

I promised myself I would sit here and make myself work through the changes to the first set of chapters before I got out of my chair, but my husband called and interrupted me with a phone call after I sent him on a list of errands with the baby, designed to buy myself three hours of uninterrupted silence for this job. 

Maybe tonight or tomorrow.  I think I definitely need a break.  Or maybe I will just write those last three or four chapters and forget the editing for today....

No comments:

Post a Comment