Editing the first drafts of the manuscript you just sweat and stressed your way through writing for months may be hard. You’re essentially watching the foundation of your very personal workings be pricked and pulled apart for revision. But nevertheless, it’s crucial to the writing process. Thinking like an editor means thinking as your audience, and I’ve learned some tough tips I often pass on to the people I work with.
1. Accept that the first few drafts of your writing are just going to be you hashing your ideas out onto paper. You may think you wrote the perfect story, and chances are you did produce a rather good draft. But that draft is just the first step to writing the best story you can. The brunt work comes when the editing begins. Come to terms with the fact that your story will still change, sometimes drastically, from here.
2. Just because a concept is personal to you, doesn’t mean it’s going to resonate with an audience. Writing what you know is not just a cliché term. It’s important to write and express the things you are most passionate about. However, your personal passions are not the same as the rest of the world all the time- and you need readers. I am constantly reminding writers that even though something seems wonderfully orchestrated to you because of its personal resonance, does not mean that it’s valid to the masses.
3. Well-written or not, if it doesn’t move your story along- dump it! I write great things all the time. That’s not my being cocky, its just that I do have confidence in the words I tend to string together for my writing. However, not everything I write is useful to the purpose of that piece. It’s important to remember it’s okay to let good writing go. It’s more important to focus on the grander scheme, than just what you’re proud to have created.
Christine Weimer is a writer, editor, publisher, and co-founder of Our Galaxy Publishing. After obtaining her BA in Creative Writing & English, Christine sought a new way to assist women in developing their creative ventures through the written word. Her passion for wordplay has led her to publishing her debut poetry collection, Tainted Lionheart. She currently lives in Queens, New York with her daughter where she is writing her second collection and working on her master’s degree.