How Do You Know When You're "Done" Editing?


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Thread: How Do You Know When You're "Done" Editing?

  1. #1

    How Do You Know When You're "Done" Editing?

    I'm excluding poetry and flash fiction. I'm talking about short stories, novellas and novels. Do you just need a certain number of beta readers?

    I'd like to know how the endgame plays out if you want to create a publishable MS.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    When the deadline arrives or you run out of money, whichever comes first.

  3. #3
    when the author sends it off to the publisher
    Kind regards,
    Hidden Content Katrina
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    Choreographing Calligraphy


  4. #4
    When you think it is okay you put it away, if it is still okay when you get it out again it probably is.
    A new story

    I finally got 'A Family Business' recorded and loaded, all 37 mins of it, much longer than any I have done before.
    Hidden Content

  5. #5
    Good question. You can edit forever. The question is at what point editing actually starts to either have no effect or a detrimental effect on the work. It’s possible to edit so much you actually end up with the story being worse — I have done this. I believe there exists a sweet spot between well edited writing and writing that begins fo lose the essence of what made it good fo begin with.

    I think that once you have edited to the point where your editing isn’t related to SPAG issues or directly relevant to the story, when you’re essentially just switching odd words or fiddling with sentences to make them “sound better” you need to stop and accept that the quest for the perfect should not result in the death of the good via 1,000 cuts.
    Deactivated due to staff trolling. Bye!

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by EternalGreen View Post
    SPAG issues?
    Spelling And Grammar issues. Mostly punctuation decisions for me.
    A new story

    I finally got 'A Family Business' recorded and loaded, all 37 mins of it, much longer than any I have done before.
    Hidden Content

  8. #8
    I agree with what both luckyscars and Olly said. You can tweak stuff forever, so if you find yourself just moving words around and little else, you're probably done. I like to give things another once over with fresh eyes though, so when I think I'm done, I put it away for awhile (short stories usually a week, novels about a month). When I revisit, if I still can't find anything apart from switching a few words around here and there, it's done.

    Then, once you've sent it out to at least a dozen places (but probably more like 20+), if you still haven't had any luck getting a buyer/agent/publisher/whatever your goal is, then revisit if you've gotten specific feedback you agree with.

  9. #9
    I think every writer has experienced "what if I'm making it worse?" anxiety. Sometimes you just have to put the editing pen down.

  10. #10
    Don't know if you guys remember gaza? He had been a journalist all his life and said to me once you have deadlines in that business, so there is a concept 'Good enough for copy'.
    A new story

    I finally got 'A Family Business' recorded and loaded, all 37 mins of it, much longer than any I have done before.
    Hidden Content

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