I’m not going to pretend that I know everything about writing and publishing, but since my first publication in 2009, I’ve learned many lessons about the craft.
This past week I’ve seen a few authors worrying about the mechanics of publishing, specifically copy-editing and proofreading. This is important, but not as important as STORY. For me, plot, characters, and theme are what makes a good story. The blow-by-blow editing comes after, as a necessary evil to ensure that the plot, characters and theme come together seamlessly. But without a good story as the foundation, the editing is going to become torture.
So, if I’m able to impart anything about editing, it’s this: first and foremost, sit down and write the best possible STORY you can and worry about the editing when it’s time to edit. Get the first draft down. Leave it. Let it breathe, like a bottle of wine. Then maybe send it on to some trusted beta readers for feedback. Take that feedback as constructive criticism and nothing more, and if need be, rewrite. Don’t be afraid to rewrite. Don’t be afraid to hack and slash. I like to edit as I go, re-reading the previous passage or chapter before starting a new one. It keeps me focused on the plot, characters and theme. But this is how I do it. In the end, you should write for yourself, tell the story you want to tell, or would like to read. Then it will be honest. You’re a storyteller, not an editor and that’s why publishers have editors.
Write your story. Live it. Love it. I wish you all the best with it.