Editing – A Writer’s Obligation

Editing… My goodness… I really don’t enjoy it. I’ve got to admit it. There’s no denying it; compared to the actual initial writing of a novel the editing is actually rather mundane!

Nonetheless, I probably could never get someone else to do it for me.

The way I see it only I really understand the images I want to portray with my novel. Only I know what I want to reveal, when and how. It makes no sense to me to get someone else to do something that only I can do. If I made a mess of something in my story I feel like I’m the best person to sort it out.

Of course, this does not mean I’m against a beta-reader and an opinion. Not at all! If someone I trust reads something of mine and says that they can’t understand why I did something the way I did I could either agree with their opinion, that something may not have been done right, or I could disagree and explain my point of view. If they are right I will gladly fix it if I can understand how, and if my point of view is understandable with an explanation but not clear then I will gladly fix that also. Although, there are some times when, stubbornly, I will stick by something and leave it that way despite advice to do otherwise.

I’m able to do that though. I can do that because it is my work. If I do something I don’t want, if I don’t express something the way I want, I’m not going to be satisfied with it. It’s that simple. If it goes well I will have no choice but to thank the person for their advice. If it goes poorly though I will have to ask this person why things went the way they did. Even if I did that I wouldn’t feel satisfied; I can’t put the blame on someone else because, in the end, the choice is really my own. If I make a decision that is entirely my own and it fails then I will say ‘no problem’, learn from it and move on. If I give the okay on someone else’s decision on my work and it fails, I won’t be happy at all; I will only be upset that I didn’t follow my instinct.

I think a balance and a variety of opinions is certainly important in order to edit a novel the most efficiently but, by the end of it, the writer themselves need to be satisfied with it.

What do you think? Would you rather do the editing yourself or would you prefer to get someone else? As a reader, do you prefer an editor assisting a writer? If so, how much?

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One thought on “Editing – A Writer’s Obligation

  1. I haven’t reall edited anyone else’s work. I posted some stories on Wattpad ( http://www.wattpad.com ) and people have edited that, and I usually like their opinions. Someone did ask me to change something that I wasn’t willing to let go of, so I didn’t change it. I’m a little scared to give my work to someone I know personally and ask them to edit it, so I don’t really have a problem right now with conflicting opinions. I usually edit my own work, but only because I can’t find a good editor.

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