Writing Lessons – When Can I Stop Editing?
I was elated to finish the final, final (there have a been a few) edit of my novel on Saturday. However, my excitement was short lived.
It is my mum’s 70th birthday and as she has been desperate to read my book, I decide to mock up a front cover and give her the final draft as part of her birthday present.
As I am printing it off, I notice a couple of things that need amending. That was it! Now I have to re-check the whole thing before even thinking about sending it off to an agent. So, my question is WHEN IS ENOUGH, ENOUGH?
I have already given it to a friend who has read it through and marked any mistakes for me, but even she missed the occasional small word or letter. Our very effective brains are a little too good at filling in words for us that aren’t there.
I read about one novel every three weeks and often find mistakes that the poor author has missed – I think we go book-blind after the 5th read through! My thought is, perhaps because I am reading on my kindle, the book has been self-published and therefore not had the benefit of a professional editor but this doesn’t appear to be the case. It is rather refreshing to think that professionals can miss the odd word too.
There is a fun editing tool at http://editminion.com where you paste in your text and it will flag common writing errors like Cliche’s, repetition, too many adjectives etc. I may give that a go but I suspect it will take a while to do the whole novel. I will blog the results once I’ve had a go. Failing that, I may just give it one last run through in a couple of weeks time then send it off quick!
Interesting, thanks for sharing the editing link! That is actually really helpful to anyone that is trying to write.