Wednesday, March 16, 2011

To edit or not to edit?

While working on the Serena Merchant series I used to edit each chapter after I'd finished writing it. The good thing was that I had near-perfect chapters. The bad thing was that it took me one month to write one chapter.

Now I know you're probably thinking why it took me so long to realise that it's best to write a first draft and then revise. But I am a perfectionist. I find one little thing I want to fix and before I know it I am fixing little mistakes all over the place.

It actually took me a long time to just accept my first draft for what it was: A FIRST DRAFT. Not my final draft, not the end of the world. Needless to say, I am happily working through the Kat Lyrille series without worrying about silly mistakes.

Question: What do you prefer? Edit as you go or edit after the first draft is done?


  1. I totally used to edit as I went along, but, like you, I eventually learned that I was not really accomplishing anything that way. So now I write a full (really crappy) first draft before I allow myself any editing.

    I, too, am a perfectionist. It's a problem that afflicts most writers, I think. It's tough to do, but caging that part of me when I write a first draft and allowing my writing to suck is very, very liberating.

  2. That's very true. There's such liberty writing without editing as you go. You also give yourself a chance to focus a lot more on the story and where it's going instead of worrying about grammar and punctuation.

  3. I have to get my first draft done first.
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