Editing Sucks

The deeper I go into the editing process, the more I start to believe it's a series of slumps. I think getting through those slumps is what makes a good novel.

The first of these slumps came in the highlight phase. Essentially, this means reading the first draft and highlighting everything that's off. These are highlighted for later. The real focus of this phase is to fix the overall structure of the book. This is done on a chapter to chapter and act to act basis. Does this chapter work? Why not? How do I make it work? What is this first act really about? How do I make this come across better? It's a slog, but also a slump. You find so much wrong with your first draft, so many things that need changing. Both on the micro and the macro level. Individual words need replacing and whole scenes get the axe. This isn't a complaint; this is how writing works. Unfortunately, it also sucks. You try to stay positive through the process, but it's still difficult. Then you get through it, and you feel like you've accomplished something real. Yeah, your first draft needs some real big changes, but you've got it figured out. It should be clear sailing from here.

Then you start rewriting, and you realize you still have no idea what you're doing. Case in point, I've been on the first chapter of this novel for days. I've hit another slump. I have no idea how to make this chapter work. I know I'm going to make it work, but I've yet to figure out how. I recognize the slump, and it's draining. But I got through several slumps to get to this point, and I know I can make it through this one too. It's a dark spot on the path; not an irreversible darkening of the skies. I'll just keep chipping away at this thing until it's readable.

If you've got your own slumps, hack through them. You won't get to the finish line without doing so.