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Does Editing A Manuscript Help Get it Published? Part 12 of 12

We’ve come to the need of this series, it’s been a lot of fun, at the end I’ll be highlighting several blogs that I love, they are all linked on the so feel free to look at them. Take your time there as well, as each blog helps in its own way.

A friend of mine sent me am email about editing, he tends to read this blog as well, but of course never really comments (Don’t worry I’m just doing the part that is important not the rest Roy!) and with his permission I’ll be posting it here. It’s insightful.


“In many.many ways editing is an art, I found a book about writing fiction, and one of the chapters deals with editing. Totally cool, it’s something I should have picked up, ’cause you’re going to ask me about it but it’s by an Elizabeth and fiction is in the title, blue cover paper back is all I can remember… back to the point, she takes the time to say that editing is vital, and that no matter where you are in the editing world, published 300 time or not at all… there is a method to editing. I guess then everyone wanting one thing to get published and to have a bit of fame. So, the point I’m making is that editing make an author not publishing.” (Roy to me, three days ago)

 I’m at a loss for the book he mentions anyone can hep me with this? It sounds like this book is helpful to many writers who are in the editing process. I had to phone him to find out more. Of course it was something that I have to read. Mostly because I hate not knowing who the author is.

I’ll elaborate on the editing methods he told me about (or at least the two he can remember.) one is editing by revision and the other is perfection editing. Both are great provided that on doesn’t spend to much time on editing during the first draft stage. That think is the key, write the first draft, do say three of four pages a day or what ever, and don’t go after the correction pen, at least not until the draft is done.

Got that? Good. Perfection editing is when you revise the sentence, chapter, page, etc until you feel the sound is perfect and the grammar is excellent and, well, you get the idea. It’s important to work at it. One of best known author is Ernest Hemingway, who once revised a the last page 39 times, to get the words right ( according to an interview he had about it) The pitfall is that you can over edit a manuscript this. Where something that sounded fresh doesn’t seem that way anymore. It’s a fine balance.

Other write and then edit. You set a goal and then the next day, edit the pages before writing some more. While this seems the most common way of editing, at least in my circle of friends, There are pitfalls to this, where you don’t get time away from a piece. I like the idea of just writing and then leave it be for a few days. Currently I’m working on a novel in fantasy– yes a type of fiction, and thanks to Rachel (my editor) for telling em not to throw it away. I’m sitting on it for now. In another week I’ll get back to it.

Yes, Editing does help one get published, as by doing this you light a passion in the world of writing, or at least your won world of writing. Publishing is an art unto itself– so is editing your work or having someone else edit it. The more groundwork is laid the better it will sound.

6 Comments

  • AmberInGlass

    Thanks for the continued insight. Editing is probably one of the hardest parts of the craft for me. Once you spend sometime sitting in front of the computer it is so easy to feel like, okay sweet, I got that part done.

    Of course you go back through and there's always something that needs to be changed. Personally I really like your suggestion of leaving a piece be for a little bit. Sometimes, I've found just doing a little writing on a particuliar piece and then leaving it for a few days is almost like putting a pot-roast in the crock pot and going to work. It's cooking all day when you aren't there. The ideas are stirring in the back of your mind whether you are conscious of them or not, and when you come back to the piece writing starts a whole lot easier.

    However, you do have to be weary of not geting too far attached or it might make coming back to the piece more difficult. In the case of my own fantasy novel, I just sat on it for two months, finally yesterday I went back to and sat down and really struggled with coming up with anything and the few paragraphs I did get I felt were pretty horrible.

    I found a method that works for this problem, though. At least for myself. Force yourself to write through that initial hump anyway for a set period of time. Half an hour, an hour, four hours, whatever you set for yourself just do it. Even if you come back to it tomorrow and erase the previous days work (as I ended up doing today with the garbage I wrote yesterday) today though, everything flowed so much easier, and I got quite alot accomplished.

    Didn't mean to get off the topic of editing. That's a toughy. Personally, I like to take a hardcopy with me out somewhere away from my desk with some pens and highlighters and just go through them until they are finely combed, then when I come back to my desk later just make the changes and proceed.

    That's enough outta me, sorry to take up so much space. Thank you, Rebecca, for the mention of my blog.
    -Andrew

  • BeckyJoie at Leaders in Learning

    Editing is a must! But if you are a perfection editor, then leave off editing until you are finished, in my humble opinion. I used to hack myself right out of writing something because I wanted it so perfect that I struggled to get past chapter one.

    Nice blog. And thank you, Rebecca, for visiting mine.

  • Jennifer Roland

    This might be the book your friend recommended:

    A Writer's Guide to Fiction by Elizabeth Lyon

    I haven't read it, so I don't know if it covers what you are describing, but it fits the author and title criteria.

  • Rob

    Good series.
    Can't wait for the next one.

    I picked up a copy of that writer's guide to fiction by elizabeth lyon. Have a feeling it's sure to be a good read. I'll let you know once I'm half way through it.

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