On Perfectionism and Editing

You may have noticed that recently, I have revised and reuploaded Book 1. And you may be asking, “Why? It was done. You’re self-published. You already took three years to edit it!”

And this will go to show you two things:

1. A writer’s work is NEVER done, and

2. I’m a rabid perfectionist.

In truth, the real reason that I had made the choice to revise Book 1 again was because, frankly, I read it. And while I know the story, and I like the storyline, the way it read was just a bit clunky. It is obviously A First Book, and it read as such.

I figured that it would be in my best interest, both from the perspective of a reader and of an author/editor in my own right, to give it a glance-over and refine it a little bit just to where it would read a little bit more smoothly. The entire plotline stays the same.

Now, what does this imply to you? Aside from the fact that I’m slightly insane to consider revising a text that had taken me three years to revise the first time.

Opinion matters. At least to an author. If you’re reading this story, and you find something to nitpick about it, then that’s something that’s important to me. If you like the story, that’s my incentive to keep on with it. The story will continue if only owing to the fact that my being a writer is an incurable condition of the soul. But if you like it – then that’s a little extra for me to produce more of the story that my readers will like.

This breeds the perfectionism. Also an incurable condition of the soul.

I will be honest with you, there is no manuscript without errors. I have been reading over a lot of the books that I love, and notice plenty of errors everywhere. Not even Random House Publishing produces perfect manuscripts. My own books are hardly immune, and while Gayle and I spend an incredible amount of time gutting through each scene, there will be slip-ups. It’s part of being human, and considering that my books get longer by the volume, it’s an inevitability that things will slip up.

But this right here is the beauty of being a self-pub. It is all fixable.

Whether or not it is fixable, though, doesn’t stop me from trying my damndest to put my best foot forward. I lose sleep over the rewrites, and by the time the manuscript gets to Gayle for editing, I have already put in a good amount of time into getting it to That Point. That Point is not a perfect manuscript, and it took me the on-my-own experience in editing Book 1 to understand that. That Point is the point where I can release the book to the world, and feel that, between myself and Gayle, that we’ve done the best that we could.

And so, once again, Book 1 is re-released. Book 5 is pending completion. Book 4 is pending overhaul.

Back to business we get.



2 thoughts on “On Perfectionism and Editing

  1. I had saw you had taken it down to make some changes, so I was curious. I know what you mean, sometimes I’m afraid I’ll never get through the editing process of my WIPs, as I keep finding things to tweak. It’s an OCD’ers dream. :p

    1. Believe me, that’s the most daunting part. But the truth is, there is no such thing as a “completed” manuscript. I left the story to be exactly as it was before, and only changed the syntax errors that were throwing things off. Even right now, Book 3 had a glaring couple of errors (autocorrect moment completely kills one very key scene…) and I decided that it would not be any sweat to just touch up that couple of things. That’s the liberty of self-publication: you can allow yourself a little wiggle room.

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