Evil Editing & Woeful Wordcounts

Thursday, 15th April 2016

Recently I have set about the mammoth task of editing my rough draft and, honestly, there’s nothing more frustrating.

I have tried every trick in the book.  I changed the font of my writing so it would be easier to spot mistakes.  I have painstakingly gone over every page and annotated and highlighted and circled things.  I have even read the damn thing aloud to myself to hear how different paragraphs flow and sound.

Finally, finally I have found a method that works for me.  After doing all of the above (with varying levels of success.)  I have found that the best way for me to get my editing done is to pick up my laptop and my annotated manuscript and drag my arse to the coffee shop and sit and re-type everything.

And yes, I do mean everything.

It takes me roughly an hour to edit one chapter in this mechanical way.  Then, when I have finished, I log the word count for that chapter down on my excel spreadsheet.  Then I go home, curl up in the foetal position and have a good long cry.

Because seriously, this shit hurts.

My rough draft came in at just under 50,000 words.  As I’m sure many of you know, that is not a very long book.  I have also been told that when editing it is very common for your novel to lose a couple of thousand words.

Still, quality over quantity.  At least that is what I tell myself!

As it stands I have re-typed eleven of my thirty-one chapters, and at the moment my word count seems to be staying relatively the same.

My advice to anyone going through this heart-breaking process is to keep going.  Don’t give up on your work!   Remind yourself of how far you’ve come from the initial blank page.

Once you get over the cringing awkwardness of reading your own writing, and once you’ve corrected the embarrassing grammar mistakes, I assure you…it will get better.  You may even grow to like it!

There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Happy editing!



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