Death by Edits

It usually goes like this:

Friend: “So. How are the edits coming along?”

Me [grins sheepishly]: “I’m working on another book.”

Friend: “A SECOND book?”

Me: “Well…and another one after that.”

*long, guilty silence*

Me [mumbles]: “I’m writing four books, OK? That’s it.”

Friend: *brings straitjacket*

The past few months have been relentless. I write like my fingers are flames and my manuscripts are wood, and yet it is never enough. WIP A is on the verge of being submitted to several agents, and there is still so much to be done. New scenes to explore, new worlds to conquer, new characters to add— Β and there is never enough time. [Translation: writes on the wall in my sleep.]

That being said. . .

here comes the confession

. . .I hate edits.

Love this scene? OK, it’s gotta go.

Love this character? He’s gotta die.

Writing the first draft is the easy part. You open your heart and pour out your lifeblood and you finish and you’re deliriously happy with your book baby. It’s everything you dreamed it could be, and more. Possibly the greatest book in the world.

And then. . .you reopen the manuscript and dissect your baby inch by inch.

This is why writers weep into their pillows at night.

But in the end. . .I know it will be worth it. Worth the hours, the days, the years, that are put into a book’s birth.

Because one day I will hold the finished product— and the cycle will begin all over again for the next book. More tears, more panic, and the absolute wonder of creation.

I wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the world.


What about you? What is your favorite part of the writing process?




7 thoughts on “Death by Edits

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  1. I love rereading my MS and falling back in love with my characters; reigniting that passion of why I brought them to life in the first place. I edit as I go, which takes longer, but I can see the fullness of character and plot. There’s a beauty is sharing tiny tidbits with my alpha readers and having them remind me why I do what I do. My favorite quote is from Isaac Asimov- “I write for the same reason I breathe. Because if I didn’t, I would die.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m on my last round of edits to book 1 (Book 2 is at the editor, and book 3 is gestating at first draft) I’m writing book 4 and non fiction book 1 … This article resonates strongly with me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think I’m actually the opposite of you! The first draft, for me, is like pulling teeth, because I never know quite what I want to do with it. I think I know, but I fall off the wagon somewhere and it runs over me. But the editing phase? I already know the big picture by now, I’m on a first-name basis with the characters, and I can see where what might be a sloppy first draft has real potential. Every draft I go through, it’s like some magical transformation. I just love the whole process of seeing where it started and watching it become all polished and shiny and better with each step. πŸ™‚ I mean, the actual editing is a drag, of course, but sitting back at the end and feeling that sense of accomplishment is well worth it, and I love that little high.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I actually have to have drafts because my brain is overzealous. I’m a perfectionist, so I guess it’s happier the closer it gets to “perfect,” whatever the heck that is. My brain is weird. Oh, this chapter doesn’t work? In the garbage it goes. xD I have a tight-knit circle of critique partners who can wrangle my desire to trash all the words.

        Isn’t it interesting, though, how different every writer is? I actually love seeing everyone’s approaches to writing and admiring some of the more neat ones (not that I could ever be that organized).

        Liked by 1 person

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