‘Editing? That’s just checking the spelling and grammar isn’t it? Computer does most of it, doesn’t it?’
I honestly believed that.
In my posts for C and D, I wrote about creativity and deadlines. Once I set myself some writing deadlines and got my inner creative out, the words flowed all over the page. I had not planned the book as such, I was just letting it flow.
As instructed, I left my drafts alone for a while. Locked them in a drawer. After a few months, I pulled them out to read them. I felt pretty certain that the odd grammar issue would have slipped through.
“Hmmmm.” I mused.
“This is crap.”
Approaching a novel with no clear plan works for some people, I’m told. I thought that it worked for me. I now have two chunky wedges of paper that are clear testament that unplanned novel writing produces well… unplanned prose that wanders off in all sorts of directions.
Editing for me is about bringing some order and direction to the prose. Helping the story make sense. Two people have helped me enormously in this area – Anne Rainbow who runs a fantastic web course on editing over at her blog www.scrivenervirgin.com and my writing buddy Amanda Fleet who gave me some fantastic insights into her planning process, which thankfully, is flexible enough to be used retrospectively.
Editing my second novel will be so much easier than my first – at least I will have planned the second before I write it.