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Wednesday, July 28, 2010
The Key To Successful Editing
The key to successful editing is detachment. It does seem like a simple thing does it not? If you've tried it then you know it is anything but simple. Detaching from their novels is the hardest thing a writer has to do. While creativity is definitely needed you must be practical at this stage.
Just like your children, you have to prepare your novel for the hardships of the outside world. This means you have to take a good hard look at it, see where it is weak, and make it stronger. It will sometimes feel perfect just the way it is. Trust me, it isn't. To be truly objective you must distance yourself from it and approach it as though it isn't your baby.
Time is a wonderful way to become detached. After a month of letting that first draft sit you can come back to it with a fresh perspective and probably some new ideas. I'm not able to wait that long but not everyone needs to. Some can achieve the same level of detachment in a week, some might take a few months. You'll know what feels right to you. I have a little trick I use. When I come back to it I read it as though I'm an acquisition editor considering buying the manuscript. Editors look at things with a very different perspective. They're looking for a reason to say no, a reason it doesn't work, or isn't good enough. That's the way I approach it.
Hopefully some of this helps you! For some related advice by Writer's Digest check out this link: http://blog.writersdigest.com/norules/2010/07/08/TheSecretToWritingPublishingThatShouldBeTapedToYourWall.aspx