How many times should you go over your work before it’s ready for the market? Once, twice – what? I’ve been writing and rewriting Delaney’s Hope for four years now. It is my next novel, the story of a man who’s collected a comfortable salary from the prison system and done little in return, except show up for work everyday. His brother’s death starts him thinking about what he’s doing with his life.

I don’t want people to say things like, “Hell, he probably wrote that once and never looked at it again.” No, not so.  I’m on chapter 27 of 32 chapters. When I finished these last five chapters, I’ll read through the whole thing again to catch any errors.

I started writing this book four years ago. I’ve edited and edited and edited. In the meantime another book has been published and another one has started.

I want people to be happy with my book. I want them to say it was a page turner. That means I have to work very hard on it. “Easy reading is damned hard writing” is how Nathaniel Hawthorne put it.

And you? How many times do you edit your work?


11 responses to “Editing

  1. I’ve never had anything published under 8 drafts, Ed. Re the novel I’m putting out in November this year, I reckon it would be closer to 11 as I do hand to hand combat with the commas. But that’s just me.

  2. Well, I would have to say, I have edited Book 1 of my Mandamus and Luco trilogy at least 8 times. Every time, without fail, I would find an error or continuity issue that would send me to the nearest closet to assume the fetal position. Finally, I decided that instead of clawing my lovely black hair out over the stress, I would hire an editor.

    I must say, my editor has noticeably less hair!!

  3. My short story was professionally edited when it was only 6700 words, but then I kept adding more and more to the story till it has doubled in size. I honestly cannot tell you how many times I have now re-edited it, but I am coming to the end of the editing, thank goodness, and hope to feel good about it once I am done.

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