The Re-Write

I’ve suffered from a dark and debilitating problem for many of my writing years.

I hate editing.

There, I’ve said it.

I’ve always had to fight the compulsion that this sentence must be right the first time! No errors! No time for mistakes! You don’t live in the age of Microsoft Word, you live in the time of typeset and laborious printing!

I’m going to chalk that up to the overachiever in me. In school I was always ‘the smart one.’ Also, I hated looking foolish. But I am working on something now, a novel, and I’ve discovered something about myself.

I still hate editing. But I am loving the rewrite.

The novel I am working on right now is a Regency romance and when I gave the first draft to my editor she basically said “Has promise, but you need to dump the beginning and the ending.”

Being the annoying overachiever that I am (and that I hate editing) I was all like “but! but! but!” and then remembered King’s advice: Kill your darlings (if you are a writer and have not read Steven King’s ‘On Writing’ stop what you are doing and get a copy right now).

So the darlings (and some characters) have been killed. Or written out of existence. The beginning is gone. And as I have been working on changing the beginning, I’ve found that I’ve had to change a bunch of other things also. And most shocking of all, I’ve liked doing it. The story is better for it, everything is less clunky, tighter, and the ending is way better.

Now to see if I like the second re-write as much as the first.