I’ve done many months of revising and editing – and they are not exactly the same – of my latest historical novel BEGINNINGS: Where A Life Begins! This is perhaps crazy but I thought I’d just make what seems to me to be one important point… Revising and editing can create NEW errors and typo’s! This I think I did … and that was a mistake! Sometimes I think that half … or certainly a substantial amount … of the time spent on revising and editing has been to correct additional little errors that have been caused by changing a word in the editing/revising process. For example, I might notice that I should have used a plural verb eg “have” rather than “has” because in fact there were two subjects …. but in the subsequent sentence, I had not changed the singular “it” to the plural “they” and modified the verb that follows.
How stupid and careless you might say. But when you are in the process of doing it, it’s so easy not to see these “errors” because they weren’t errors to begin with; they were only errors after you made your slight revisions. And there are many times and different circumstances when this can occur. Worse, you might have done your revising and editing and not notice that you’ve created new errors until you think you’ve finished! Then, there’s a last-minute rush to re-edit just before you upload to Amazon or Smashwords or whatever…..
So what is the solution? Treat a revision as a “rewrite”. In revising/editing, take the same amount of time and care as …. or even more time and care than … you took in writing originally. This would be particularly the case for those doing WiMoDoDoDooDoo or whatever they call it and racing to write as many words as possible in the shortest possible time. And this brings me back to a point I raised in a previous blog ….. More time … no! a lot of time … needs to be spent in revising and editing than in writing itself AND a lot of care needs to be taken.
Now if you can write fluid, clear, incisive and scintillating prose on your first attempt …. and you have my eternal admiration if you can … then you can ignore everything I’m saying. Otherwise ….