Okay, I know how it sounds – but hear me out here, and let me tell you a little bit about how I work. Of course it’s not a problem, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that I draft things faster than I can revise, edit, and polish it up for publication.
Whenever I finish something I leave it for a while. I like to let them sit, you know, to simmer. From personal experience that makes the editing easier to tackle later on – and it also gives me more time to draft something else while I wait! Sometimes, when I have someone available, I’ll leave my work with an alpha reader. That’s someone who reads the first draft – the very first – and gives me feedback on the story, the plot, the characters, and the pacing. Of course, the draft is a mess at this stage, but that’s kind of the point. It’s nice to have someone to discuss story with without having to worry about sentence structure or grammar.
Then, when I have some initial feedback, maybe I know about some parts I need to rewrite, I come back to the same project a few months later. After any potential rewrites and a few rounds of revision, it’s time for some rough editing – I try my best to refrain from doing it before, because things change when you revise and rewrite. Editing happens slowly, over several rounds. Someone described it once as sanding down wood, going over it with several passes, slowly going over it with progressively finer grit paper.
Then of course comes, developmental editing with an editor, and the use of critique partners and beta readers. Eventually, after this second round of feedback, it’s back to editing – going over everything with a fine-toothed comb and getting into nitpicking detail, before it’s sent away to an editor again for proofreading. By this time as much as six months to a couple of years might have passed, and though I’ve of course spent some time doing the rewriting, revising and editing in the middle there, the time before and after (while I wait for feedback) is spent writing.
So, naturally, the writing piles up.
But like I said – it’s great problem to have! I have a constant backlog of things to go through, revise, and edit, and it keeps me busy. I love to see how my writing evolves when I come back to things I’ve written ages ago. Though I sometimes feel like I want to rush, or that I’m working too slowly – especially when I see peers who work in completely different manners and at different speeds, publish their own writings – I know that it makes my writing stronger.
Yeah, sometimes I wish I could just write something and get it out there as soon as possible, but I also like having a few things on hold.
How do you work? Do you stick to one project and see it through to the end? Or do you have many things going at once?
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