Friday, 11 February 2011

Editing: Joy and Torment

I am currently about two thirds of the way through editing my new story. It is a good length novella, running at around 26,000 words at present. I wrote it in one month and now I hope to finishing editing by mid-March. In fact, I'll even share with you the title for the first time - it is called Day-Walker and is a vampire paranormal romance.

At times I love editing. It's a chance to go back through and make improvements and you feel excited that your story is nearly completed and ready to send to the publisher. But I have one major problem with editing - I am a perfectionist. No matter how many times I rewrite a sentence or a paragraph, I am never 100% happy. I always feel that I could do better and that the work I have done so far is therefore not good enough.

This leads me to agonise over things and I would be stuck in the limbo of editing for ever if I didn't eventually force myself to stop. There comes a point in the editing process when I have to tell myself to halt and accept the work in its current state. I figure I could spend years on one piece, mulling things over, but I might never reach a stage where I am happy with it and it would therefore never make it to a publisher for consideration and never make it out into the world.

At least this way I am getting my stories published. Perhaps I do sometimes reread them and wish I'd used a different word there or changed the punctuation somewhere else. But in the end I am a writer, fulfilling my dream, and everything I write is contributing to my continuing education, teaching me new skills and improving my writing style.

True perfection if hard, if not impossible, to attain. But we can keep striving towards it.

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