As much as I enjoy writing, I find that I enjoy the process of editing almost as much, if not more. When I edit anything I’ve written, be it a blog post, a piece of fan fiction or an original novel, it’s not just about correcting spelling and grammar errors. I re-evaluate every word and paragraph I’ve written and I often find better ways to phrase what I am trying to say. The first time I go through and edit, I often re-word earlier parts of the work to better align with what I know I wrote later.
I like to play with words, and I to try and evoke a reaction from my reader, whether it be a slight chuckle or perhaps even fear for the fate of one of the protagonists of my story. I often have no idea if I succeeded or not, with the exception of my fan fiction stories, when readers leave me comments letting me know exactly how my words affected them. Since I began writing fiction, I finally understand why so many writers love to include those infamous cliffhangers within their stories. I must admit, they are a lot of fun to write.
When it comes to my online works, such as blogs and fan fiction stories, I often will only do a single round of editing before posting, and so occasionally I may miss a few things here and there. It’s not that I don’t take that writing seriously because I do. However, I’ve learned that I just cannot spend that much time perfecting my casual writing, or I would never get anything else done! However, when it comes to my professional works, whether it be a training manual, a procedural document for a client, or my original fiction novel, I do put much more time into the work.
The big difference I’ve noticed between my technical and non-fiction writing, and my fiction writing, is that the non-fiction generally doesn’t require nearly as much editing. There are only so many ways I can write: “Step 1. Click Log-in.” Whereas with my fictional writing, every time I go through another round of edits, I always find a new, better way to phrase various parts of the story, or even think of new content to add (and occasionally find content to remove). Honestly, I think with fiction writing, I could edit a single work for an eternity and always find something new to change. So that has been one thing I’ve been learning, is to eventually let go and leave the story as it is.
That being said, I’m quite sure my novel still requires more editing, but I’m at a point where I think once it’s been properly proof-read by another set of eyes, I’m ready to turn it loose and see if I can find a literary agent willing to represent me. I figure that if I can eventually land a publishing deal, I will be asked to make additional edits and changes to the novel and I’m more than willing to put in as much work as is needed in order to make the novel publishable.
So, in the meantime, I get my fill writing and editing blog posts like this one, along with the occasional fan fiction story, just to keep my writing juices flowing.