The Editing Chronicles: Greener On The Other Side


Editing your own work is hard.

That is to say, it’s difficult to distance yourself from it enough to be objective. That’s a given.

After I finished writing the first draft of my novel last night, I went back to the beginning and started reading. I figure, okay. I’ll read it straight through like I’m your average consumer and see how it strikes me. So far, no glaring holes or problems. I did have to rearrange a chapter and strike a handful of comments that were no longer relevant, but so far so good.

The problem is that I can’t catch the small continuity stuff. My brain is so crammed full of this fantasy universe that it automatically fills in all the blanks and if there’s world-building stuff that doesn’t make sense right now it just flies completely under my radar. Big stuff is covered. Little stuff…I’m gonna need some help.

Luckily, I’m friends with a bunch of English literature and professional writing majors, so finding editors and beta readers shouldn’t be too difficult. I can only hope that they start reading it as soon as they possibly can and start getting back to me with their edits, because otherwise I’m just going to end up reading the book over and over again and thinking, “God, it’s fine, it’s perfect, there’s nothing else I can do!”

Which is false.

Anyhoo. The other issue I’m coming up against is: what comes next? Story-wise, I mean. I wasn’t planning on writing a series, but the way I wrote the end leads to a more direct sequel than I had in mind. Unless I completely skip forward a hundred years. But then won’t people wonder about the rebuilding? Won’t they want to know in more detail what happened to Guerline and Desmond?

Possibly. It depends on how much the readers like them. Which is why I need people to read it. But I read over the manuscript and as I do, ideas for spin-offs and sequels and prequels and companion novels are just flying through my mind. I can’t possibly write all of them, as much as I’d like to. I know that there will be another book in this world, but will it be a sequel or a stand-alone companion? Or both? That could happen, depending on how it was approached.

Sigh.

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2 thoughts on “The Editing Chronicles: Greener On The Other Side

  1. Do it like Asimov did with the Foundation trilogy: skip hundreds of years at a time and let the reader deal with it!

    Actually, that might work if organized into multiple “parts” or “books” within a larger complete novel. Yes, I’m aware of how much more work that would require.

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