Edit, edit, edit

photo (3)   www.helentownsend.com.au

On the weekend, someone reading a post on this site found some typos. She pointed them out to me, then apologised in case I didn’t like being corrected. I don’t mind at all. In fact I think it’s great because it’s very hard to edit your own work. But editing and re-writing are perhaps the most important part of writing.

As you can see from the page here, I am a ferocious editor of my own work. I write, re-write and re-write, then some more. I come back to stories after a week and find I want to re-structure or re-write the whole thing. Or maybe my sense of a character has changed without me consciously thinking about it. Those time-out  periods are of immense value to any writer. Sometimes, when I’m walking or swimming, the characters start talking in my head, saying something I haven’t thought of. That doesn’t make sense of course, but that’s how it feels.

I find one of the big benefits of these time-out periods is discovering the real point of something you’re writing. “Ah, that’s what it’s about.” That thought is a seminal moment that suggests all sorts of changes and improvements.

Of course there are times when I reverse changes back to the original text, but it’s being willing to play round and try different things that is the key to making a piece of writing as good as possible.

Warning: Making it as good as possible, not perfect, is the goal. It never will be perfect. Your little literary child has to go out into the wide world some time.

Good writing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *