Let’s Clear The Air: Editing is a Bitch

My New Year writing resolution would be going quite swimmingly, except for the fact that I’m editing (for the seventh time) Finding Cadence. I signed up for a mentor’s class at Savvy Author, and received the final edit back mid-December. So I’ve been industriously working on her suggestions as to plot and pacing, as well as tightening up my sentences and eliminating all of the unnecessary words. My goal is to finalize the edit and streamline The Epic Tome to 120K words. Should be easy, right? I’ve been working on this baby since 2007. I’ve taken classes, I’ve let BETA readers take a stab, and editors. I’ve bookmarked every helpful writer site on the Internet. This book should be just about finished. Armed with this kind of firepower, I should have the edit sewed up in no time.


After this weekend, I’ve come to the conclusion that editing is a bitch.

Saturday afternoon was spent on an entire chapter. After three hours of painstaking concentration, I was nearly ready to throw in the towel. (Yes, I have felt this way about this particular book many, many times in the last five years.) I had to get up, do something else. Changing the sheets seemed like a good idea, especially since I suffer from night sweats and my husband sleeps with a heating pad under his knee. Refreshed by the freshness of Bounced bedding, I returned to the computer, only to struggle for a few more hours.

I took out sentences, I shortened long, cumbersome ones. I reworded and eliminated gerunds and “justs” and questions and empty words like “oh” and “well.” (And “oh, well.”) Still, this particular chapter was a huge struggle, and I felt as though I wasn’t getting anywhere. Especially when I reached the end of the chapter and found my editor’s notes (she must have nothing to edit in between, they are always at the end). She thought I had to pick up the pace in order not to lose readers.


We’re talking Chapter 6 here. There are thirty more to go.

All of a sudden (I know…so cliche), I looked up and realized it was dark. I hadn’t even started dinner; heck, I wasn’t hungry. My husband was on his way home from work; I implored him to pick something up from the grocery store. (My normal modus operandi is to cook from scratch, which is probably why both of us need a crash diet. He was not amused that I hadn’t even planned a meal.) Luckily, I had just wrapped up Chapter 6 (for now), and rushed to put my computer away.

Sunday was a much better editing day. I actually breezed through three more chapters. Still, I’m on a search and destroy mission to pare the first part down. 7K to go. Oh, my.

Cross your fingers, and your toes.


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