“The time consuming process in which you try to make something not suck.“
– Chuck Wendig. Probably.
You’ve just spent the better part of a year working your fingers to boney little stubs spilling your life’s blood all over the keyboard. And do you know how fucking hard it is to clean a keyboard without taking it apart key by poxy KEY!?
Okay that might not be true, you might not need to take your keyboard apart but you get it, right?
You knew when you started, or at least I hope you did and if you didn’t I’m sorry you had to find out like this, your first draft would be utter crap. Well, now you have to edit that work of horse shit into something that not only hooks your readers, but grabs them but the ears and pulls them in close not letting go until they taste the unicorn dreams you imagined.
Editing, where you take apart your work at the atomic level, the word level… Umm. This process will no doubt take you longer to get through than writing the first draft whether you do it from beginning to end 14 times looking at something different each time or chapter by chapter (that’s what I do) or maybe you deconstruct each sentence one at a time checking your word use. Ultimately your goal is for it to make sense as well as making it a little shorter, tighter, easier to read.
Of course the best way to make something easier to read is to remove all unnecessary words, I mean you don’t need all those high convoluted words mixing shit up and slowing down your readers. A quick easy read is a better read.
Read it out loud, no matter how stupid you think you look (You’ll look like an escaped mental patient), this will help you get a handle on how it reads. If you have a flow problem, fix it. Try your best to remove the word ‘That‘. Most of the time you just don’t need it. Read the sentence without the word ‘That‘ and if it sounds the same, remove it. If you think you need it, try rethinking the sentence. If your stuck, fine. But try.
I fucking hate that word… (Irony)
You’re trying to be economical about your word use. Doing that will make your work more elegant, clear, and simple. Don’t use big complex words in order to sound smart if a smaller, simpler word will do (Unless it’s dialogue and your character speaks that way). I’m talking more about your narration.
As much fun as you had creatively writing the thing, editing is where you have to get creative in fixing problems. Be critical of yourself. Hate yourself!