To Edit or Not to Edit – that is the question

Back to editing (see my last post on Slice and Dice Time). My new question is how and when do I know that enough is enough? Do I err on the side of caution or on the side of just-delete-it? I am finding myself in a curious spot, and my question is, can one actually over-edit?

Self-editing sucks because it’s like staring at yourself in the mirror and deciding which pieces of yourself to cut off or erase. So you start with the relatively painless things like a couple finger-nails, maybe an eyelash or two. But what about when you get to more major amputation? Like an ear or a knee, or even worse, an actual limb? I repeat. It sucks.

For the ‘literalists,’ my example above is an analogy. I’m not really cutting parts of myself. But that’s what editing feels like to me. Shakespeare knew what he was talking about in Hamlet, or in my case, the pain of editing versus the uncertainty of selling to a publisher. So I guess the moral of this post is, editing may be bad, but not getting published would be far worse.

1 Comment on To Edit or Not to Edit – that is the question

  1. Jay Tee
    January 18, 2010 at 6:05 pm (10 years ago)

    Check out the AutoCrit Editing Wizard. It helps find things you missed and also prevents you from going overboard 🙂

    Reply

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