Editing

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?

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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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