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Thread: Editing

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  1. #1
    Rebecca D\'Souza
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    Editing

    Sorry, another question. Should I edit each chapter as I finish it, or leave it and come back to it after I have done a few. I seem to re-read what I have done almost each time I start writing again, and always end up changing things. I wonder if I will over-edit in the long run? Hope its not too much of a silly question!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Rebecca, do whatever works for you. Some writers prefer not to edit too finely until the whole book is in good shape story wise simply because often whole scenes are cut or changed and you'll have wasted time on them.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Keith .'s Avatar
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    What CK said. Many instructors say to blow out the first draft just to get it down but I was never comfortable doing that. Now I place a marker where I start each day. When I begin the next session, I'll go back to that marker and do a light edit for content before erasing that marker and placing another where I begin again. This cleans things up a bit and, more importantly for me, gets me back into the same grove I finished with before. Experiment and see what works for you. Luck.
    ________________________________________________

    People seldom do what they believe in. They do what is convenient, then repent.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    You don't have to be sorry about asking questions. That's what we do here. Ask away.

    Just write the book and stop worrying so much. You'll find your own rhythm.

  5. #5
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    I've tried it both ways. I like the "get the story down first and then go back and edit" way better. I got so obsessed with editing "as I went" that it took me 10 times longer to get a first draft completed. And...it was still a first draft.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Zoe Saadia's Avatar
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    I do a rough editing after each chapter is done. I don't feel comfortable with just a raw material
    (not that it means the first (and the second and the third and so on) draft is anywhere near passable in the end <insert some sort of a sweating smiley> lol)

  7. #7
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    If it helps, Rebecca, Larry Niven once told me that he edits as he goes, and he has a number of best-sellers under his belt.

  8. #8
    Belinda T.
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    Do what feels natural to you. I've edited some of my chapters to the point where they're a few paras and then I insert new material which I think may enhance the plot or keep a reader enthralled without too much verbiage.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Rebecca,

    These sorts of questions don't really have answers. Some writers use critiques and readers chapter by chapter even during first drafts. Others wait until their work is done and polished. It really depends on what helps you produce your best effort. And it's not static. What may work for one project doesn't work as well for another.

  10. #10
    Aver0n 2o11
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    Normally you have to do more than one edit (which is a pain in the arse). I'm an unpublished writer too so it's not like I know what I'm talking about but with my last (completed) project, it took around three edits of the whole thing just to get it to a stage where I would not be embarrassed to show it to a friend. So probably there's no such thing as an over-edit, I don't think. And it doesn't matter if you chapter it before or after you complete the plot - I do it after because I find that if I stop to edit, I end up never finishing the thing. Just do what works for you.

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