Saturday, April 13, 2013

Getting Past The Major Cuts

Ok, so I'm relatively new at this editing thing. It's taken me a really long time to find a story I loved enough to finish, never mind edit.

You could call this a call to anyone who's got some editing experience. I need advice and I'll take it from just about anyone at this point.

My question is this: How do you get past that point where you feel like deleting thousands of words- or whole chapters- is necessary? At some point the big stuff has to end right? At some point I should move past this and start tweaking the little stuff, but I can't shake that feeling that I have to re-write the ending (which I've done twice) or the beginning (seven times) or reverse the order of chapter 3 and 4, etc. I can't seem to move past the big stuff.

Any tips? I know it can't be as screwed up as I think it is, especially since I've been working on it for two years and I'm in my second round of editing.

Do I just keep going until I realize the big "issues" are all gone?

Do I take a break from the chapter re-arranging and move on to little things for a while to get perspective?"

Am I completely losing my mind?

I'll answer that, I totally am.



  1. I can't imagine how hard editing is. I don't have a ton of experience with it, other than beta reading for a few friends. But, from what I've seen, there's no wrong way to edit. You just do what works for you at the time. If you're getting bogged down in something and can't think your way out of it, move on to something else for a while. All the editing it needs will get done eventually and it doesn't really matter what order it goes in. I think at least.

    The one piece of advice that I think is most important, that you might already be following, is to cut and paste what you delete into a different document, rather than just deleting things, never to be found again. You never know when something might need to come back.

    Good luck! You can do it!

    1. When I finish a draft I always save it and then copy and paste the whole thing into another document with the same title but "version 2" or "version 3" next to it. That way I never lose anything important.

      Moving onto something else might actually help though, thanks!

  2. I don't have much experience with editing either, but it sounds to me like you need time away from the ms, let it rest, then go back to it with fresh eyes.... also maybe have a CP read it. someone you trust who can help find direction?

    1. I was actually thinking the same thing, about having someone else read it. Though unfortunately, my CP's have been missing in action lately, so I'll probably have to figure this one out on my own. Darn them and their real, not-always-in-front-of-the-computer lives. ;-)