8 Reasons I started Editing My Novel
I write novels. My sister writes novels. My younger brother tried to write a novel as well but he gave up much earlier.
My sister is known for her aggressive editing. She’s not published yet. Neither am I.
The reason I’m highlighting the differences is to stress one point: she is not afraid of editing. Yet I am. Well, I was.
I didn’t want to start editing my completed novel. Why? Because I was afraid that it would frustrate me. There are literally hundreds of things you may want to edit. And if you have ever written for yourself, you would know that while writing a fresh piece is fun, editing that same piece is a torture.
But here are 8 reasons that I finally started editing my sweet 67,000-words-long urban fantasy:
- I became more serious about publishing;
I have been querying many agents for this not-so-much-edited novel. I have sent something like thirty queries. I have received a couple of rejections.
But I know that an agent might ask for partial and, having looked at my partial, they would say, “Oh, it needs a lot of editing. I’m going to have to pass.”
- I became tired of sending queries.
I sent two queries every single day, trying to get a “yes” from some agent. Boy, I was just desperate to have my novel accepted. So these past few weeks have been nothing else but querying. Believe it or not, querying was way easier than editing the piece I was querying for.
But I got tired of it. And finally to spice things up.
- I love my novel
Ever written a book?
Well, then you know that for a novelist, every novel is like a baby. It’s difficult to give up on your kids no matter how hopeless they make you.
I loved the concept of this novel even though one very nice agent sent me a personalized rejection stating, “The meta-physical elements and the religious aspect do not interest me so much.”
Fact: there’s mention of God and devil and atheism in my novel.
Still, I love my novel, and I’m editing it to let it have a fair chance at publishing.
- Bestseller-fantasy inspired me
I was trying to fall asleep when I started getting thoughts of nice, bestsellers and I was like, “Oh, I want to write a book like that one. And like that one.” It was then that I said to myself, “I have a book. I should publish it… Oh, it needs editing. Well, then I should edit it.”
- A bird in hand is worth two in the bush.
I realized that even though my next novel is going to be perfect (yes, I’ve got dozens of concepts for my next one!), I have to care about what I have: “The Second Choice”. Yes, that’s the title of my YA Urban fantasy, my second manuscript.
- My Sister Helped Me:
I received my younger sister’s support and asked her to guide me through this cruel process of editing.
“Put actions into chapter. Turn your characters into reasonable ones. Ask yourself, ‘Does this scene make sense?’” She gave me a great deal of advice. Thanks to her, I finally got some idea of how you could edit an urban fantasy without going crazy.
- A beta-reader told me to…
One of my beta-reader who read only chapter from the middle – as I had requested him to – advised me that I had to do one thing: delete the entire chapter because nothing was happening. Agreed. Nothing was happening. But at that point I was more concerned with proofreading than with true editing.
I hadn’t been listening to beta-readers’ advice for quite a while since I was in no mood of doing full-blown editing. But now is different. Turns out that beta-readers can actually teach you something!
- Learning to Edit
The final reason is that I want to learn to edit. And you only learn something by actually doing that thing, right?
I’m not very good with descriptions or literary language even though I love to write. By trying to edit this novel, I can learn how one goes about this tough task called “editing”.
I’m hopeful and I’m quite sure that I’m going to finish editing this novel within a few months. As I’m not a full-time writer, I guess a few months is a reasonably fast pace. Plus, considering that I’m new to editing, a few months (not more than three!) is not that long, even though I know there are people who can write a novel in one week and edit it in another one.
Hopefully, everything will be all right and I’ll polish my novel enough to have it decently (read “traditionally”) published very soon!
My personal favorite is: HarperCollins!
Why I started editing my novel…