Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My Big Adventure in the World of Editing

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

I shudder at even the mention of rewriting.

Ever since I knew what rewriting even was I ducked my head at the thought. Avoided it at all costs. Wallowed in anguish many an hour realizing I’ll never be a true writer because how could I ever rewrite?

I spend so much time and work with first drafts, the idea of having to just scrap most of it and keep rewriting and rewriting and rewriting is enough to send me in depression. The fact that most people do not get published until they’re practically on their 10th draft is nightmare-inducing to me.

Writing is hard

I don’t want to rewrite. I’ve spent enough time writing it the first time as is.

Rewriting, editing, changing things, adding things, taking things away… The horror!

…Or so I thought.

I have a story that I really want to make into something. It’s special to me and I just have a great desire to completely perfect it. I want to honestly get serious with writing and maybe (maybe) attempt looking into that terrifying thing known as “trying to get published”. Now how scary is THAT?!

So, on March 29th I took a deep breath and actually started editing this novel of mine. I have done some very minor editing before, but nothing like this. This is a major editing project and *gasp* quite a bit of rewriting. *gulp*

But that first day of officially beginning the process, a Friday afternoon, as I went sentence by sentence of my prologue, attempting to do my best to change it into the best it could be, I realized something.

Rewriting is…fun.

What?! This can’t be. I’ve been terrified of the idea for nearly my entire life! You mean it’s not actually that bad? My whole life has been a lie!

I love this story. I love these characters. Probably my favorite tale I’ve ever written. Not to say that’s it’s even that good, but something about it makes me happy. Whenever I work on this novel I feel like I’m home, surrounded by loves ones.

I first started this novel somewhere around February or March of 2011 and I think finished it by August. Since then I’ve been working on other projects. So returning to it after all this time truly felt like returning home after being gone for far too long.

Rewriting isn’t scary, it’s just a whole other level to writing. The first draft is meant to explore the surface of the story. Rewriting allows you to delve into the inner depths of it and make it truly something—revisiting old friends and discovering a much greater understanding of their stories. It’s a beautiful process, not a scary one.

That’s not to say rewriting and editing isn’t hard. I’m only on Chapter Five of the first edit through and I’ve already stumbled across some difficulties. But those always come with writing. Writing is hard. But it’s also wonderful.

To me writing is an adventure. We’ve all read enough stories to know adventures are full of hardships and all means of scary things. But they’re also full of wondrous things as well.

Fairytale Book

I don’t know if anything will ever become of this story of mine, and that’s okay. But I’m not going to stick it in the dark crevices of my laptop and let it gather cyber dust. I want it to be something, even if it’s just for me.

I’m taking one sentence at a time. That’s not so hard. Just one sentence, slow and easy. As a perfectionist, I find satisfaction in, well, perfecting things. So the fact that editing has always terrified me is almost funny. Now that I’ve started it, I’m rearing to go on other stories that need rewriting as well! I’m excited about it.

I’m not scared anymore.

I’m ready for an adventure.

The pen is mightier than the sword


  1. I think what makes re-writing enjoyable is doing it to a story you love. It is more like pulling teeth if you don't like the story, but usually those stories get scrapped anyways.

    Still, I am glad to hear you like it. It is better, makes life easier, if you actually do enjot re-writing.

  2. I agree wholeheartedly. Not just rewriting, but writing in general. If you can't get into the story then it's just going to be a constant chore, not a pleasure.

    It certainly does!

  3. Eek, I know what you mean! I can't write fiction, but I've had a work of non-fiction in the process of being written for like...6 years. And the thought of trying to re-write? Yik. But I'm encouraged by this post!

  4. I hear ya, girl! It's such an overwhelming thought. My mind tends to make things out far worse than they really are, and it seems this is one of those cases. Hopefully I continue to not mind the rewriting process. It can be challenging though, but I'm glad this encouraged you. ^_^

    Good luck on your non-fiction piece. That's really exciting you've been working on one! Writing is so fulfilling.

  5. I am really impressed that you can do this whole editing thing... I am still trying to get started on editing but whenever I think about it I think that my english is not good enough to write something grammatically correct and then I am not doing anything like that...

  6. Oh gracious, don't be impressed. I don't even know if I'm doing it well I'm just...trying. But thank you so much. ^_^

    Awww, don't say that! I know you can! Just take one word at a time. I'm learning slow and easy is the way to go. I know you can do it, Autschi!

  7. On a random note, I just discovered your blog - the title caught my attention! I am a big Tolkien/LOTR fan and LOVE anything Elvish!! You've gained a new follower. ^_^

    -Leah Kathryn

  8. Hi, Leah! Thank you for joining, I'm honored! ALWAYS thrilled to meet more Tolkien and elves enthusiasts. ;D


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