I can’t speak for every writer. Some writers love editing. Some love editing more than they love writing the story. I, however, hate extensive editing. I think that has a lot to do with the way I read.
My books, just like the ones I read from other authors, fall in the same category. Once I know how it ends I’m done. I don’t want to read it again. I’ve already followed the journey and there’s no other reason for me to read it again. For the most part, I don’t read my books post publication and there are a lot of reasons behind that, but extensive editing probably is one of those reasons.
Another reason could also be because my first major book genre addiction was mystery. I bought every Agatha Christie book the local drug store had on the shelf. When I ran out of those I bought Marry Higgins Clark books. Once I know the Who Done It what’s the point of reading it again?
The only writer where I reread a book was Linda Howard’s Mr. Perfect. But even with that I didn’t read the entire book through. I kind of skipped around to the parts I really liked.
So when it comes to editing it is a major chore. If I loved editing I would probably hang on to the story forever and continuously rework sections. The reality is that every book can be better. There is always something that could have been described differently, written differently, expanded on or detracted from. Such is life. But at some point a writer has to let go if they want to publish the work.
After the rough draft comes loads of edits and if you’re planning to write and publish what you write, traditionally or indie, then you’re going to need to make love, not war, with the world of edits.
Tomorrow I’ll discuss some of my editing steps.