Like It Belongs to Someone Else

I’m putting my YA paranormal fantasy through another round of edits. I still have fond memories of writing the first draft. How the words just seemed to flow in some places and how hard I struggled to get others to reveal themselves. In the first round of edits I checked for grammar and spelling errors. The next round, I honed the manuscript  to get rid of the weak words and make every sentence, every paragraph stronger. The content for the most part stayed the same.

Since then, I’ve read multiple writing craft books and have continued to get feedback from critique partners. I’ve forgotten which draft I’m on. All I know is I’m editing like it belongs to someone else. I’m letting go of scenes I love because they don’t make the plot stronger. I’ve revised the opening to make the main character’s goal less subtle and to highlight the impending conflict. I’ve made dramatic improvements in the world building which also adds tension. My writer’s pride is on the shelf and my inner editor isn’t shy with her red pen. Pretending someone else wrote this story and forgetting how hard I worked for the words on the page makes it easier to see the mistakes.

How do you get in touch with your inner editor? Is it easy for you to step out of the way? How do you know when to fight and when to let go?

10 comments on “Like It Belongs to Someone Else

  1. Awesome! Sounds like you’re doing just what you should. Distance really helps with the slashing! 🙂

  2. You’ve come a long way! Nice work.

  3. Jenna says:

    So happy that you can look at it from that critical perspective! It’s never easy for me to cut scenes, but I do what I have to:)

  4. Natasha, editing is hard. I’ve had to delete or edit out a lot of what I consider great material for the sake of the readers. I hope they like the final result.

  5. dawnall says:

    Hang in there. It gets better with every round!

  6. It sounds like you and I are doing the exact same thing! Feels good to improve it over and over again. I just wonder if I will ever stop and be happy with it! Mine is in the hands of Crit Partners right now to see if I’ve made the progress I think I have!

  7. BucksWriter says:

    Hi Natasha,

    I find it easy to edit for things like redundant words etc (legacy of a career in marketing) but it’s a lot harder to let go of characters or scenes – that I am still struggling with.

    Good to meet you through the campaign!


  8. Mel says:

    I’m having a lot of trouble with this, right now I’m working really hard at studying craft to get an idea of how to dive in and edit my current WIPs. I’ve got the vomit drafts out, but don’t quite know where to go from here. For now, it’s mostly about keeping a fresh eye and not falling too much in love with my darlings.

    Also, I’ve awarded you the versatile blogger award if you want it. You can check out the rules on my blog.

  9. I want to be exactly where you are in my editing process and it seems like it’s so far away, but now you’ve given me these inspiring words and I feel a second wind coming on. Thank you!

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