Sunday, December 18, 2016

Should I Edit My Story? Is it important?

The basic of basics of being a writer is that you need to edit.

Of course, if you have money, you can get a professional editor to help you out but still you should be able to at least do a basic edit yourself.

What is editing though? Well, here is a little introduction to editing for you newbies out there.

Is Editing...?

Is editing...
daunting? Yes.

Editing your story, your baby, what you thought was perfect from draft one, is a daunting task because you might have to delete a whole sentence, a whole paragraph, a whole CHAPTER! Omg :0

Is it...
tedious? Yes.

Editing a story, even if it's not yours is a tedious, tedious practice but you have to go through with it. You have to look for all those grammatical errors you made because you were in a rush to get your amazing ideas down. You need to make sure all the periods, commas, and whatnot are where they're supposed to be. You need to make sure secondary character A is still saying and doing the same things as they were in the beginning. You need to make sure there are no inconsistencies because you had some great ideas in the middle of the night and suddenly your MC has wings, not fangs.

Is it...
annoying sometimes? Yes.

Editing your story can be annoying because you have to carefully reread it every time you go back and edit. You have to read it over, and over, and over, and over and over and over and over...

Wait, can it be fun? Of course!

Editing your story can be daunting, tedious, and annoying, but it can also be great fun. You will no doubt add more details in your story. I learn about all kinds of things when I edit my story. If your character falls ill, well, can mint really cure a cold and how long does it take? What sorts of herbs grow in a field? What are the different ways to cook chicken besides grilling it? What does rotten milk smell like? What kinds of roofs did they have in the Victorian Ages? In this way, editing can really help with worldbuilding.

Also, you get to really established your characters. Maybe your main character was just a normal guy with nothing very special about him when suddenly... But no one is just plain normal. What is his background? How close is he to his family? What kinds of things does he like to talk about with his friends? What does he like to do for fun?

In a sense, through editing, you really get to know the character you conjured up. You really get to see what kind of world you made, or if it's non-fiction, you really get to understand exactly what it was you were trying to say through your story.

While editing might be something you would rather avoid and hurry up and get your story published, it is a CRUCIAL and IMPORTANT part of writing a story. In a sense, when you write a story it includes editing. You have not finished writing your story until you finish the editing process.

Remember, there is no such thing as a perfect and ready-to-publish first draft. Even J.K.Rowling edits, even J.R.R. Tolkien edits, even Stephen King edits. I can't even imagine how many times Harry Potter was edited or how many times Lord of the Rings was edited. To get to that greatness, you have to have edited soooo many times. Let me tell you, not even a genius' first draft is a perfect, ready-to-publish draft. There is always editing to be done.

So, should you edit your story? Most definitely. You'll no doubt have more than ten drafts until you finally have a relatively polished up version of your story that you can be confident with.

Editing is part of the story-writing process.

Now that we've established that, well now how exactly do you edit certain things? How do you make it like a New York Times Bestselling Book? That, I will discuss in another post :)

Happy Editing! :D

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