Editing Objectively – How, Preciousssss?

I’ve got a nassssssty, Gollum-like little inner critic when it comes to writing.  Now that I’ve finished the preliminary writing of my novelette, I’m trying to make edits and smooth out all of the rough spots before I send it to a publish– I mean, self-publish it.

Y’see, since I’m not publishing this thing with a professional publisher, I don’t have the benefit of an outside editor.  I could hire someone, or I could go harass random Figment users I don’t even know to leave ego-stroking but otherwise pointless “reviews” on my story, or I could spend my Young Writers’ Society points on posting the whole thing and maybe getting some feedback.  But I don’t know if I can afford an editor; I wouldn’t post my whole story on Figment to be graffiti’ed and defaced for a million bucks (which I could use to hire an editor…); and I don’t think I have enough YWS points. 😛

So yeah, I’m going with DIY-editing for now.

The hard part is, when I look at my own writing, my symptoms of the Sandpaper Curse become more apparent.  And my stupid, nasty Gollum of an inner critic starts telling me horror stories of everything that could possibly go wrong.

But then it turns into Ian Malcolm from Jurassic Park and starts telling me things most likely will go wrong.  Yeah, my inner critic isn’t much of a chaotician, (rather it’s a Murphey’s-Law-ician) due to my own lack of understanding of the pseudoscience.

I came across this quote today that I think really applies to my situation.

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.

― Ray Bradbury

I’m going to give it a different spin.

You must make the emotional high you get from finishing your novelette last as you begin your self-editing so your inner critics cannot destroy its potential – or you, but I highly doubt they’d do something horrible like that. I mean, what chance do a crazy little hobbit guy and a scientist with a broken leg have against you?

― Allison Rose

A lot, Allison.  A lot.  *Gollum!  Gollum!*



P.S. I have an odd propensity of using Gollum in my posts, don’t I?  I also mentioned him here, when I was in another lapse of writer’s block.

4 thoughts on “Editing Objectively – How, Preciousssss?

  1. Michael Gunter says:

    Nice one.

    Actually, tho, chaos theory isn’t the garbage Malcom made it out to be. It’s a real science, based on cause and effect. Very cool stuff.

    Good luck with the DIY edit, too. It’s murder. 😉


  2. evelynkrieger says:

    I highly recommend Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to edit yourself into print by Renni Browne/Dave King. However, after you’ve revised and polished to the best of your ability I’d strongly advise you to find some way to get a professional editor. It makes all the difference on a final product. You just can’t see all your own errors. All the self-publishing gurus will agree. Good luck to you!


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