In a continuing series of features from our authors, Frank Zafiro writes about the process of self-editing.
Whether you are a best-selling author with a big five publisher, exclusively self-published, or anywhere in between, there is one thing every writer faces: self-editing. After that initial burst of creative energy that is every first draft comes the often arduous task of revision. We all know that it is infinitely easier to edit someone else’s work rather than our own. Why? Easy answer — because every word we write is brilliant and necessary.
Yeah, not so much. I think every writer goes through the first revision and realizes something that seemed top shelf in the first draft needs editing. Realistically, none of us expect to be perfect on the first pass. It’s a given that there will pruning and polishing throughout. That’s part of the process, and it gets us to the place we really want to be with a finished work. One of my favorite endings of my own books is Waist Deep, and those two brief, final chapters underwent a number of revisions before I was happy with the structure and the content. A lot of that work I did on my own, but I certainly had some great input from others, too. At the end of it all, I found myself at a place writers rarely do — not just content, but actually pleased with the outcome. Waist Deep was about redemption, and the final line signals the beginning of the main character actually finding that redemption. It just took some revision for him to find it.
Revision is an arduous process, true. But sometimes it is downright painful.