|"I just can't face editing my novel!"|
Do you hate editing?
Or I used to. That’s because editing usually involved the mental equivalent of ripping open my chest with a rusty knife and tearing out my internal organs.
It doesn’t have to be that way. When I first used the Rich Outline method – and it was hard for me, not coming naturally at all – I discovered that if I wasn’t trying to rearrange the major plot organs of my novel to force it to make sense, Revision was actually the most enjoyable stage of the work. That’s because I had raced through the draft, writing crudely and sloppily, but now I could relax and polish my prose to my heart’s content. I was easier to focus on writing beautifully when I wasn’t also trying to figure out what was going on at the same time.
I’m hoping that if these Tips helped you (or me) at all, you’re in the same position now. You have a solid but ugly draft, which is akin to the steel scaffolding of a building. It’s not pretty, but it won’t fall down in an earthquake or sink in a flood. It’s sturdy. Now you can brick on the elegant façade, secure in your story’s underlying structure.
It’s a good idea to take a break between your draft and your revision. If you’re a first time author, this is important and probably feasible. The reality of publishing schedules might mean that if you’re a professional, you don’t have time for a breather. Revision is simply the next stage of writing, part and parcel of it, and you don’t pause.
Even if you don’t pause, however, you should reward yourself for a job well done. Take yourself out to dinner (tow along loved ones if you like), buy yourself a token gift or add a gold star to your chart. Celebrate milestones…and then keep writing.
See you tomorrow.
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