Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Editing is HARD, plain and simple

Editing truly is one of the hardest things I have ever done. At times I doubt myself and get so frustrated I am near tears. At other times I wonder if all of this work is really worth it. But in the end my answer is always-- Yes, it is worth it! So I push through and keep trying to get something done everyday, even if it is just a little bit.

Today on Facebook an Author friend of mine posted about getting frustrated and discouraged over editing her book. There were so many fabulous responses to her post. I wanted to share my favorites  and also give a bit of my own advice on the subject.

1- Edit in layers. It's like taking baby steps. Make yourself a list of everything that needs done and then start working your way down the list. You may have to go through your MS several time but it eases some of the stress of having to make it perfect right off the bat. I currently have a list that looks something like this.
    Plot holes
    Pet words

2- Persevere. Keep going. It's like all hard things in life. When you are stuck in the poring rain it is hard to see the sunshine behind all those clouds, but if you keep on walking you will eventually find it.  Writing a book is no different. At first it might need a lot of work but if you hang in there it will keep on getting better and better until finally it shines.

3- Sometimes you have to do some studying and learning to figure out all those grammar and punctuation errors and how to fix them. I had the amazing experience of attending the 2013 LDStorymakers Conference in Utah this year and all I can say is WOW! I learned so much! There were so many classes and helpful information taught by some of the most amazing authors ever.

So my first advice is find a writers guild or conference you can attend. I promise it will be worth it!

My second piece of advice; Buy Annette Lyons book "There, Their, They're: A No-Tears Guide to Grammar from the Word Nerd", Second Edition http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1484820665

I can not even begin to describe how helpful this book is. It breaks down the rules of editing in a way that is so easy to understand. I love how you can practically hear Annette talking to you through it, in a fun and cheerful way. It takes the boringness out of the "textbook" so to speak. It's laid out in a way that makes it easy to reference things and its the perfect size to keep beside your computer. In fact that is exactly where I keep mine so that I can reference it while I'm editing my MS. So if your struggling with editing go out and get this book. I promise you won't be disappointed. It truly is a 5 star book!
So there you have it! My advice on editing for the day. Hopefully it was helpful. Good luck with your work and remember to always keep writing!


  1. This is true. Editing and revising needs to be done layers at a time. Good post Nikki.

  2. Actually, I prefer editing to hammering out that first draft. But then again, I'm an English teacher and reading and offering suggestions/corrections is 2nd nature ;)

    Hang in there and get it done, layer by layer!

  3. Terry I wish editing came second nature to me. Perhaps it will someday, after I have been at it for awhile. I must say that it does seem to be getting easier, the more I do it. I'm learning a lot and I think that is the important thing. :-) Thanks for the encouragement guys.