Monday, July 12, 2010

The Merry-Go-Round of Editing...

To all those writers out there who have finished their first draft, I ask: Doesn't it make you dizzy? The endless repetitions of combing through your manuscript. The constant queries of your mind's eye. The multiple issues, the bubbles in the flow of character development, the heaving of pacing when it should be flowing, the garish flowering of descriptions that were meant to be mere garnish, and the biggest question licking at your ankles like the very fires of hell:

Will this novel ever be finished?

To quote Valve (a videogame publisher), it'll be done, when it's done. But just when will that be? With every pass through I see more faults, more issues, not less. As my skills are honed and my abilities strengthened, I see my failings as an author more clearly. But what is to be done? Grit my teeth and send it out when I know that it is certainly not complete? Continue on the merry-go-round 'just one more time'? Scrap it and start over?

I think the most painful part of all is the simplest fact that no one can ever judge the answer for us. We must judge ourselves.

I can only imagine how terrible it would be to edit to a deadline.

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