Editing – End of a Phase

I never really realized how true the words “rough draft” were until I decided that I was going to be my best, most brutal (and cheapest) editor. I intentionally used a red pen to set down all the parts that I didn’t quite hash out on the first try for a reason. I wanted to know where I needed to fix things – where I needed to be better.

Funny sort of story, but I don’t remember my rough drafts being quite this rough before. Back when the extent of my social life had four legs and hooves, I suppose more of me was fully invested. Now, with a social life and full time job, plus the same four legs and hooves, my philosphy has 100% become “just get it done, editing can come later”.

The only problem with this philosphy is how long and tedious that makes the editing process. Hell, I had to break up what I was hoping to accomplish just to make sure I could get through this first phase. This is what I’ve come up with:

Phase 1: The ROUGH draft. Just get the ideas out there. We would-be writers know our characters, we know – generally speaking – where we want the story to end. Just do it – Nike style.

Phase 2: Let it breathe. Immediately editing upon completion is not a good idea. You’re still close to the story – the characters who know each other can read between the lines and so can you, their creator, but in a few months you’ll completely forget what wasn’t said – trust me.

Phase 3: The FIRST edit – it’s bloody, painful, and a mess, but oh so necessary. Be cruel, have no feelings for yourself – know that there is a great idea buried in there and it’s now our job to excavate it.

Phase 4: The second draft – take those ideas that just came through in the first round of editing and go with it. Rip apart that rough draft and put together a smoother product. But keep in mind there’s going to be more to come.

From what I came up with on my First Edit, I’m looking at another harsh edit after the second draft. And in the midst of the second edit, I need to start to add that second layer. I’ve come up with a solid four layers I need to add, adapt, and smooth out. So that means at least three more edits and three more drafts…oh what fun.

On the plus side, at the end of the day, I feel in my heart of hearts that I have created something unique. I love my characters – what writer doesn’t – now I just need to start bringing out their uniqueness to make sure that future readers will love them one day too.

Until next time.

Published by L.E. Gibler

Writer, rider, and future crazy cat lady

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: