Something all writers and potential writers do, but something I do feel that I somehow didn’t sign up for. I did a massive amount of editing last night on a chapter in my Kim Possible fan fiction story, The Healer’s Touch and I have to admit, it really broke my speed. I had it in my inbox for two days before I finally worked myself up to looking at it. The problem was that I had had trouble starting it, and knew very well that it was going to need some major work to complete it.
Luckily though – I have an amazing (two actually) Betas, who got my work up to speed and ironed out the bits that I had trouble with.
The problem still remained that I would have to do some editing on my own, putting the finishing touches on a piece of work I couldn’t round off the first time. It was a long, agonizing process, hindered by a terribly critical Inner Editor who had taken offence from a somewhat bad and critical review on the last chapter. I struggled with it, turned it around, almost took out half of it until I realized that I would have to replace the words that I took.
And then out of desperation, to try and determine where I thought I had gone so horribly wrong, I decided to read it to myself. I sat in my quiet room, almost close to midnight, and played around. I did voices. I did accents. I read with the motion I knew the characters were speaking and quiet suddenly, everything seemed better. The flow was good, comfortable. The dialogue intense, but easy at the same time. As I ironed out the last of the bits, I realized that it wasn’t my Inner Editor speaking to me, but my Inner Critic, someone whom I feel should be ignored at all costs.
You see, editing is necessary, but so is having faith in yourself and faith in your writing. So when you struggle, I have a hint that I can maybe give you, perhaps even a piece of advice.
Sit back. Read it. Aloud. Maybe even in a Scottish Accent.
You’ll hear then what makes sense, feel on your own tongue what doesn’t. And remember, that it’s your story. If you’ve received one bad review in 15, know that that’s just one. There were 14 other people who did like your work. J
Editing is necessary, but it shouldn’t be a chore and certainly shouldn’t be an excuse to dish your own work.