I hope you all are doing well. In spite of all that’s going on in this world, God is still good and life is still worth enjoying.
I certainly have been able to enjoy myself, editing my novel these past few weeks. Getting lost in a fictional world is one of the joys of both reading and writing a novel. Even so, the real truths of fiction conveys can help one cope with reality.
An editor from the publishing company, Ambassador International, got back to me in April with her feedback on my novel. After I finished my finals for my college sophomore semester, I set to work.
At first I was overwhelmed by the amount of comments and changes she made or suggested. But gradually I realized how helpful they were and how needed. Through editing this manuscript, I have begun to form a greater understanding of what it means to be a good writer.
Oftentimes, I would say things in my novel on a whim that ended up not making any sense to the novel and in progressing the story. While I had fun writing those parts, for the sake of you all, the readers, you won’t have to read such a gibberish. 😛
Anyhow, I just want to take some time here to reflect on my editing journey, as today I finished editing my last chapter. While I still have more general edits to make throughout the novel, I feel like I have completed something important.
Here are three things I have learned from my editing journey:
- Be clear and concise. Yes. If you are a writer like me, you likely have heard this many times. Of course. It seems obvious, but how many times do I write wordy sentences while trying to bring across a profound message? Writing clearly and concisely sometimes means you have to be “less descriptive,” but in the end, it comes off more powerful.
- Say only what’s necessary. This goes along with #1, but it is more specifically about honing in on your point and deleting the rabbit trails. Saying only what’s necessary will help the reader focus on what’s important and stay engaged with the story. Long, drawn-out tangents lead to frustrated readers.
- Show, don’t tell. I used to think this was too hard and too much to ask of me. How would the reader know what’s going on if you don’t tell them? Well, the truth is actions do speak louder than words. As I edited my novel, I realized how much pleasure I got when I deleted the “telling” parts and replaced them with “showing.” Showing the reader how the reader is feeling by them making a fist is more powerful than just saying: “Tristan felt angry.” Showing gives the reader a better and more direct picture of what is happening, and it makes them feel included rather than a bystander who hears what happened from someone else. So, it really is the truth: showing instead of telling makes a huge difference!
Anyhow, that’s the gist of what I’ve learned practically from this editing journey. It’s been a pleasure working on my novel with this fantastic editor, and I look forward to working on more general edits soon.
In my next post, I will share what editing has taught me spiritually.
Have a wonderful night everyone!