To edit or not to edit that is the question?


All authors have to edit, its part and parcel of the writing gig right? But what happens when someone outside of your editing world says you need to cut this and adjust that, what do you do then?

It could be a friend whose opinion you have always rated highly, an editor, or indeed and agent who has asked these changes from you. Do you succumb to their way of thinking?

Firstly, I think its extremely important for you to know what your book is about, which I know sounds simple enough, but if you’re not quite sure you could let too many ‘voices’ in, and alas the finished product could turn out to be something you didn’t want.

Secondly, understanding what is important in each chapter. Avoiding flowery, nothingness to float around acting as useless bulk i.e long winded exposition. [I’m especially good at this, but I’m becoming much and more brutal with myself, the more I write. Good times.] 

And thirdly, not only is there interesting content, but fluidity from one passage to the next. Telling a story that makes the reader turn the page.

These are some of the things I’ve learnt along the way, and am still learning to do in my own writing. I used to hate editing, but now I think it’s one of my favourite things to do…its almost like piecing together a fine silk blouse, sure, it can be extremely unforgiving, but it can also challenge you to transform the material you already have into something else, something unexpected, something better perhaps…

I guess that’s the craft of writing, which can only be worked on if you press your pen down to paper and get down to business.

How much advice do you take on when it comes to editing your own work?



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