Recently I wrote about my never ending hate spiral of editing, you can read it here. This isn’t that post. This is more of a contemplation on editing. Do you think that editing helps your story? I don’t mean that in a literal sense, because everything that has ever been written needs editing, or should be edited. Even Stephen King submits manuscripts for editing.
But does the time spent editing equate to a better story? In my first novel, In the Between, I have just over 100,000 words. This needs to be cut down to no more than 80,000 but I can’t do it. I’m not objective enough to cut out the scenes that need to be cut, or erase dialogue that serves no purpose. Because for me as the writer, I think everything that I’ve left in is necessary. Considering this story was cut from 120,000 words, I just can’t cut anymore.
Perhaps I’m too verbose and conversational in my writing. The novel is written in the first person, and I tend to have internal character conversations that add richness to the story, but they could probably, maybe, if I was honest with myself be cut out. But I can’t
This book is with a friend of mine for editing, *cough* Clinton *cough* – he took an editing course once so he is totally professional – perhaps he can find some way to cut out 15,000 – 20,000 words. Or not, just read it, buddy.
I suppose this is why people pay editors to do this sort of thing in a structural edit, because writers can’t be subjective enough to own the work and start slashing.
Is anyone’s writing ever perfect? Even after going through numerous rounds of the editing process. Probably not but it’s got to be better than it is now.