Editing – How much is enough?

I’m often asked by people about how much editing is required. I tell them the truth of the matter every time.

It varies.

That’s the simple and, sometimes harsh, truth of it.

There are stories that someone may feel needs to be edited tens of times before they’re truly comfortable with it. They may edit and edit for a long time until they come to the point where they can have a great sigh of relief, smile with satisfaction and say ‘it’s the way I want it to be’.

Some stories don’t need nearly as much editing and this often has a lot to do with how much an author has focused during the writing process in the first place. Editing once or twice is still a good idea but it may not need much more than that.

Too much editing is really noticeable when a writer begins to fascinate too much on every little nook and cranny in their stories. I suppose, sometimes, not everything should be fixed. If you’re happy with the overall result the worst thing you can do is to try to keep editing, or to believe that everything needs to be edited. Leave editing only to the things that really should be edited.

So, how much is enough? How much is too much?

The answer to both questions really does depend on the writers themselves and on their feelings.

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