Editing/Re-Reading

Hi Everyone,

I love and hate re-reading my own work…. I love it because I am normally pleasantly surprised by what I have written but I hate it because I find I am never fully happy with it… I could have re-read the same section three times previously and been happy with it before, I will then read that section again later to read the whole story, making sure it flows, and I will once again find areas to change, add to or re-word.

Some of the best people to review your work in the first instance are friends and family. Those in the age groups you’re targeting and those outside. The ones in your target age group are the most important as they will inform you if that’s something they would read and why. Those outside the targeted area can focus more on the grammatical editing side. Together they help to make your story even better.

Obviously an expert editor is always the best option, due to their experience. However if you can’t afford that then ask your friends and family, if they enjoy it they may even buy a copy once your published.

I tend to edit as I write the story and edit once it’s complete. The reason I tend to edit it as I write it, is if there has been a little gap in writing I tend to re-read what I have written to get back into the flow of my story, as a result of this I find areas to improve.

Editing is one of the most important parts of writing the story. It polishes off your ideas, ensures they are sound and fit together correctly. It provides you with an opportunity to sit back and see your story from a readers perspective… What else do I need to know about this character? Why is that happening? What happened with this item/character? And I am sure many more. These questions help the author to fill in any missing gaps… As no reader likes a story with gaps and missing information.

I find the editing process exciting, it is the final step in having a completed story. It gives me a great sense of achievement to be editing a completed story, to sit back and say “it needs a bit of work still… But I wrote that”. It still fills me with a great sense of pride.

So my question to you is… Can you ever be fully 100% happy with something you have written?

Enjoy 🙂

© 2012 Georgina Hannan AuthorWorld. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.
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11 thoughts on “Editing/Re-Reading

  1. I don’t think one can be 100% happy with something they’ve written even after all the editing and polishing, because there’s always something more to be done. Besides, a writer is their own worst critic, and it’d take a lot for them to finally approve of their own work, don’t you think?

    • Yes Zen, I completely agree with you. I am definitely my worst critic. I love what I write but at the same time, I always find a way to improve it or change it.

      I believe that if you are happy with it and all the “family & friends” feedback is complimentary and not adding anything else, then you are probably ready for the next stage of sending it out, if that’s what you wish to do with it.

      Thank you very much for your comment 🙂

  2. Sometime you can over analyse something I believe
    Yeah you want the story to make sense and not leave anything out but if you over edit you risk editing yourself out
    By this I mean, apart from a good story, a reader chooses an author due to their perspective and style of writing
    If you have had a good idea and got it down in print then too many changes can take away from the original story and you could risk writing it like an articles rather than a story which should show your own heart and emotion ..etc
    (I hope you understand what I mean) 😀
    I believe a good author can make any story readable just by making it their own

    • Thank you very much for your reply Chris.

      I agree with you, sometimes you can “edit yourself out” but you also need to make sure the story doesn’t have too much “you” in it as well.

      A good story makes the reader believe it and feel the way the characters feel, if its too clinical or too personal this won’t happen so obviously a balance is required.

      My trouble is I don’t always know when to stop editing hehe

      Thanks 🙂

  3. Firstly – stay away from the little green mushroom man (above) – he’s spam.
    Secondly – It’s wonderful to get that feeling of achievement! I’m also the type to edit until my fingers bleed – but you’ve got to stop somewhere.
    What I do is publish the book (through a self-publishing site that’s FREE – very important) and then order a few books (for about $5.00 ea for my family and friends. Believe me they pick every little mistake and they’re invaluable for the final edit. This has cost me about $20 for the books and whatever the postage & handling is (usually about $7-10). This also gives you an idea of what your story will look like in print, because it’s very different from reading an A4 page.
    I usually use LULU, but I believe there are other free sites out there. If you ever need any help with LULU, let me know because it can be a bit fiddly the first time you use it.

    • Thank you again Dianne for your comment.

      I have looked into LULU, but as I live in the UK it seems to be a little difficult for me because I am not an American citizen and so have to complete some form if I don’t want them to take 70% of my royalties! But I might be reading it wrong.

      Your help would be very useful indeed. Thank you

      • I’m with LULU and I live in Australia. Don’t worry about the 70% thing. You’re not selling books yet and you don’t have to sell them through LULU. They give you the option to keep your work private until the day you decide to sell. If you do make it public and start selling millions of copies, you can always take it down and go to a publisher. The use of it for you at the moment would be to just put the book in print so you can look at the whole package and have it edited and proofread. People are far more likely to proof or edit it if it’s in book form and not a pile of papers 🙂

      • That’s a good point actually. I will have to look into that and the prices as I know of a one-off printers which I used to print 2 copies of a book I did for a personal project so will compare both prices and once I have a cover design will have a look at using that.
        Thank you 🙂

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