E is for Editing, and Editing, and Editing, and Ego

Last summer, I wrote a book. The original writing process took about 10 weeks. I’ve been editing it now for more like 7 and a half months.
At issue, partially, is that it is my first full length novel (Check out my novella: here). I thought it was easy. After all, the writing was.
The editing? Not so much.
Turns out I broke pretty much all the rules. I lost track of who my main character was, well, lost her characterization at least. Lost the voice for my characters. And the middle of the story is downright dull.
Mind you, it’s not stick it in the closet and forget it ever existed bad.
But it’s close.
Okay, okay, so my initial beta readers said it wasn’t that bad.
I just have become too close to this story, too committed to perfecting it to actually finish it and let it go.
This weekend I need to revise some of the middle chapters and then send it off to another set of beta readers.
I am so convinced at this point of the weakness of the book that I almost don’t want to try to sell it. After all, what if I send it out, everyone hates it and they put my name on some list of authors never to read again?
I don’t really think agents and publishers have that list, do they?
Truth be told, my ego is a little battered after the editing process. I’ve edited to the point that I’m not sure how much of what I wrote last summer even exists anymore. And mostly, I try to tell myself that’s a good thing. It’s been refined, polished and is nearly ready for important eyes to see it.
But right now, while I am overwhelmed with editing, my ego is bruised and all I want to do is set it aside and work on something totally different.
If I were horseback riding, I’d be in that wonderful state after you get thrown, where you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and wonder if a different horse might be better to ride. But let there be no doubt about it, I am getting to ride a horse, one way or another!
So what about you? Did you get back on the same horse or see if a different colored horse was easier to ride?

Comments
6 Responses to “E is for Editing, and Editing, and Editing, and Ego”
  1. Melinda says:

    Cindy,
    Almost every author has a first book that they eventually stick in a closet, never to see the light of day again. I know I do. I learned a lot from it too. As fond as I am of my first work, I did eventually wind up setting it aside and moving onto something else in order to make a whole new bunch of mistakes. *G*

    I’m not saying that’s the right thing for you to do, but don’t feel like you’re married to your first manuscript. Set it aside and go have fun with something new. 🙂

    • cindy says:

      I’ve decided that I’ll finish it up, send it out on some rounds and write something else, while I hope someone likes it. In the meantime, I just need to let that baby go!

      Thanks for the words of wisdom!

  2. I wrote a novel through NaNoWriMo last November 2012. I wrote upto 65k words. It’s not yet done. I need to add more scenes to it. But, I did finish the 50k challenge of NaNoWriMo. Ever since December, I’ve been trying to add the missing scenes as well as edit it. It takes a whole lot of time. But, giving up wouldn’t give me an accomplishment. Even if I did reach the 50k challenge, I told myself my book is not done. I haven’t accomplished anything without its ending. I’m still writing. Just write.

    From A to Z Challenge,
    Sonnia J. Kemmer

  3. Oh, I feel your pain! I have been editing for almost an entire year. I’ve even got a publishing contract, had one editor, and now I have another. After awhile, we no longer have “fresh eyes” and it makes the editing process very hard. Luckily you have awesome beta readers who give input! They are invaluable throughout the writing process. Don’t get discouraged! You obviously believe in the story or you wouldn’t have stuck with it this long. I have written things, thought they were terrible, shelved them, went back months later, reread and realized it wasn’t that bad! Chin up and get back on the horse… your sunset is awaiting you! 🙂

    An AtoZ-er
    Courtney

  4. Jenny says:

    At first well done on finishing draft novel- i am not even close to editing yet and herd its horrid- good luck!

  5. Tamara Woods says:

    Editing is hell, but a necessary evil. I guess the real difficulty is trying to find the end of editing. Good luck with it and don’t give up.

    A to Z.

    Tamara
    http://penpaperpad.com

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