Writer’s Craft #57 – Is There Such a Thing as Over-Editing?
Heather Ray Bax studied English and Classics at the University of Alberta before pursuing a graduate degree in Library and Information Science at the University of Western Ontario. She currently works at Simon Fraser University and the New Westminster Public Library. Heather is the author of The Charm Tree, book one of the Shansymoon Series, and she writes poetry for children and adults. To learn more, please visit www.heatherbax.ca
I’m a fledgling writer. I’ve written the first book of a children’s fantasy series, and I’m currently working on the second book. No wait — I’m actually revising the first book … yet again. As a self-published writer, I didn’t work with a professional editor. As a new writer, I probably should have. The Charm Tree was written years ago within a 3-month period between jobs. Creating the first draft was an amazing experience. I felt transported into the world I was creating, and there was certainly no lack of inspiration.
Years later, I decided to publish the book, and the real editing process began. I became immersed in reading about how to write. Whenever I learned something new, I felt I needed to go over the manuscript to make the appropriate changes. The more I read, the more revisions there were. A self-proclaimed perfectionist, I found this process very long and painful.
Finally, I self-published. Soon after, I wanted a redo to make some changes and fix mistakes. I’ve also become interested in working with a traditional publisher, so I enlisted the services of a professional editor. She had some very useful insights and suggestions, and once more, I find myself in the revision process.
When do you feel you’ve done the best you can do and it’s time to let your baby go?