Faber Session 25 – Editing

Now come on, you know the drill, lets get cake porn out of the way first…

Yesterday I had Lemon Cheesecake…mmmmmm πŸ™‚

And in my search for a sweet kick I just happened to stumble into The Book Warehouse, where I picked up this large hardback for the bargain price of Β£4.99 πŸ™‚

So I was well chuffed, if not incredibly cold! It had been snowing here most of yesterday, and I decided to risk going to class*

So last night we talked about editing. Now, do you remember all my guests that talked about editing back in December and January? No? Well, click the tab above to check some of the great posts out. Basically, a lot of what we covered last night I already knew, but it doesn’t hurt to have a recap. If only I could actually do it lol.

Some of my notes:

Which part is the fun part? The first draft or the editing? My tutor prefers the editing (mad man! Lol)

Its hard to be both writer and editor, so don’t! Seek help.

All writers have a tick. A phrase or word we overuse. Be aware of yours. Mine is “in fact” lol

Wait until you’ve finished the first draft before revising or editing.

Keep telling yourself it’s a masterpiece! Ha ha ha!

Dont edit the charm and sparkle out of a piece.

Every book is imperfect and the author will always want to change it if he/she had the chance 5 years later.

So what am I missing? Why don’t I find editing/revising fun? Help me out guys? How do I put the “fun” into editing?

*did manage to make it home through the snow, thanks to The Hubster who spent most of his evening battling through snow, traffic, and stuck cars to pick me up. The drive home was pretty scary! Thanks honey πŸ™‚

36 thoughts on “Faber Session 25 – Editing

  1. I do remember some of the editing posts. I kept a few (just in case) My β€œtick” is β€œjust”. I’ll be speaking about it in the challenge in April. J is for Just. Heard about the snow….For the A-Z Challenge I’ve been reviewing my old posts etc. Some of it is damn good! But I did edit a lot of it for April. I don’t mind editing. It gives me a chance to see what I wrote in the heat of the moment and to see what’s worth keeping, what’s garbage and what’s worth revising.


  2. I heard of one author copying out her novels onto different coloured paper — one for each ‘editing’ process – story arc, character development, grammar & spelling etc. Maybe it would be fun with all the colours?


    • Ahhhhh, yeah, ive heard that too Mandy. Someone in class last night said they they use a highlighter pen, to highlight different elements like dialogue, different plot lines etc.

      I can imagine how much time that would take though *groan* Perhaps im too lazy lol πŸ˜‰



  3. Fabulous post! I’d love to add a thought on the fun side of editing, and a thought on my current challenge. Fun first! For me, editing can be fun but it’s important to wear the right hat. Your editor is your friend; he or she wants to make the book as fantastic as it can possibly be, so trust him/her. I think of editing as part of the ongoing creative process (gosh, that sounds grand) and I remind myself that drawing, painting or sculpting is also very much iterative. Back in the days when I did ‘art art’, it used to be the final stages of a drawing, painting or sculpture that got me really excited and I try and harness that same energy for editing. Doesn’t ALWAYS work but as I said, for me, it’s all in the mind. A first draft is just that; a stake in the ground, not a finished masterpiece.

    I should point out that I am leaving this comment right as I have finished my third book and BEFORE I get edited all over again. So yes, I am nervous. At the moment, I am very much second-guessing my work based on previous editorial input, and that’s a new and nerve-wracking challenge! So yes, I am a little anxious about the verdict, and the amount of work it may or may not involve. I’m not a hypocrite; I’ll probably need to give myself a pep talk when I open the editor’s file. BUT: I’ll get over myself and get stuck in, and once I see the book rise and shine, editing *will* be fun because it always is.

    My writer’s ticks? “Just”, “then” and, in this current WIP, “realize”.


  4. I read this post and found myself in exactly the same position on editing – it always seems like such a chore.
    Then I logged off and read through my second draft for a short story I’m working on and something clicked. I suddenly realised how this story could be better, how I could alter it and tweak it to give it more impact and explore the issue and I found myself getting excited about it all over again!
    I’m going to post tomorrow about how I’ve suddenly come to like editing – on this project anyway – and how I realised just what Nicky Wells has so eloquently explained: editing can be fun, if you like asking questions and posing the ‘what if’ question (as writers don’t we already do this?!) and you understand that it can make your writing so much better. I’ve actually realised how much progress I’m making in my writing journey just by comparing draft one to draft three…and that makes me smile.
    Good luck with your own editing Vikki – maybe try different techniques to get you into the editing phase: reading the whole of your piece and marking questions/alterations in the margins on general stuff, or taking one paragraph and really focusing on what it is you want it to communicate and how best it might do this? If you can find one thing that makes you feel you’ve improved your writing, it suddenly feels like it’s worth it!
    Take Care, Cat x


  5. Love the beautiful cake. Editing fun? No clue. I’ll do it, but I much prefer the writing part. I have two words I know I ridiculously overuse…”that” and “but”…I’m working on trying to put a stop to it.


  6. Vikki, the fun is all of it. The rush of the first draft, the amazing discoveries in the eidts, rewrites, revisions and the last leg … never to be done with it. Why would you want to? We have the best job on the planet. Writing is fun, even the not-so-fun parts are a blast. Getting rid of all those repetitive words, editing out the “as” of it all, searching for the gerunds, cutting the over talk, letting the characters tell the backstory, being careful to put in the action, the drama, the excitment … Oh boff … just remember that when you are done you’ll have a book that two editors will want you to change, revise and edit. Did you know that Hemingway was so compulsive about editing that when his editor handed him the first hard copy of one of his books, he flipped to a page and told him, “Damn, I should have taken that line out.”

    Just enjoy the whole enchalada … like those great treats you show us every week. The first bit of the cake is the rush of the first draft … then savor each bite and when you are down to crumbs … sadly put down the fork and wait for the next week and the next treat πŸ™‚


    • Thanks Florence, i think i just find the whole editing thing overwhelming and then my confidence dips and i end up hating it lol.

      Ha ha ha, i LOVE that analogy honey, thank you πŸ™‚

      Editing is like cake!



  7. I love the Don’t Edit The Charm and Sparkle Out Of A Piece, it is so easy to do this. I don’t think editing is fun at all but I do get a profound since of satisfaction as I weed out the mistakes knowing that I am doing all that I can to make my work the best that it can be.


    • Yes, thats a good one isnt it πŸ™‚

      Im glad im not alone in not finding it fun, thanks honey. I can see what you mean about giving you satisfaction, but i think i get frustrated before i get to satisfaction 😦



    • Awwwww, honey, I put this one away for a year, so although it was written in November 2010, it spent a whole year in a drawer…that didn’t help, I wish I’d gone back to it sooner!

      Good luck xx


  8. I didn’t think editing was fun until my second novel. I think its because I didn’t constantly go back and reread sections while I was writing the first draft. I just plowed through until I hit the last line. Now, as I read through and edit, its like reading for the first time, (and that is very exciting). πŸ™‚


  9. Great book find! Maybe you can share a few highlights from it?
    As for a ‘tick’, I have several. My lovely hubby wrote a word analysis program to help me spot them πŸ™‚


  10. Like you I always prefer first drafts, except maybe for poetry….I love attempting to craft the words into a shape and rhythm that sings! [unfortunately doesn’t happen very often though…]


  11. Interesting that you note the “tick”. There was something I kept doing on my blog, I forget what now, but I realized it, and made a conscious effort not to use this word. The odd thing is I cannot remember what the word was right now, even though I spent so much time avoiding it.

    Anyhoo, editing – what fun. More fun if you can approach it after a little break, but then whether the rest of it is fun depends upon what you find.


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