Walk the Line….Editing or Butchering?

Someone today got me thinking about yet another question I have. Obviously, I have far more questions than answers.

I am one of those who would edit to the point of insanity. I don’t know if this is a writer problem, or a me problem, but there are many times I second guess myself on lots in a manuscript. Do I want to use that word? Do I need to include that? Should this go here or there? What if I should scrap that all together?

I truly enjoy the process of editing and making my writing better, but at what point does a writer make it worse? How do I know when enough is enough? Is that what a great agent or editor is for? Is this a completely personal decision that just has to feel right? Am I destined to second guess everything?



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3 responses to “Walk the Line….Editing or Butchering?

  1. adventuresofafirsttimewriter

    Livibuglady, you are not alone. I am writing my first novel and I am guilty of the same–over editing.

  2. Writers will only over edit if they don’t know what they’re writing about in the first place. In other words if they don’t recognize a complete statement of what it is they are trying to say, they can over edit.

  3. I understand your frustration. A well-known Nashville editor said to me once that, “You just have to stop.” I believe that. I use the rule of 5 to tell me when to stop. When I find that I have five corrections per page, I keep going. When I find that I have five corrections per 10 pages, I keep going. I don’t stop editing until I get to the point where I easily find only five corrections every 50 pages. After that one, I quit.

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