Chipping away

How many times does the average published novel get revised, edited, and nitpicked?  Please, somebody, tell me so I can have some idea how much longer I’ll be working on this manuscript.  I’m afraid I’ll still be hitting it with the red ink,  staring at it through a magnifying glass when I’m 102 years old. 

I used to think that when the plot and dialogue were done, so was I.  WRONG.  That’s only the beginning, as most of you reading this know.  Perfection is unobtainable, but that doesn’t stop a writer from trying. 

This month I’m  busy revising a manuscript for a contest and working on a pitch and synopsis.  I lost count how many times I’ve fine tuned this one in previous years.  Each day, I drag my writing tools to the PC.    Superfluous adverbs and adjectives get jackhammered into oblivion.  My scalpel pen comes out to perform a gerundectomy, sometimes a series of them.  Then I sandblast away the stiff prose and awkward phrases that keep popping up about the time I think I’ve got things under control.

 I’ll keep chipping away at this ink and paper stone until, hopefully, I see a copy of it on Barnes & Noble’s shelf.   Or until I’m finally happy with it, whichever comes first.

7 comments on “Chipping away

  1. Ugh! I hate editing and I always think I can do more. When will it end!?

    Whatever you do, don’t edit the life out of it.


  2. Diana Hockley says:

    tina, my sweet, you’re going to be chipping away at that thing until you die of old age! I calculate I have fully edited Home Before Dark eleven times – and I still find things to do to it. Should an agent ever come over all strange and actually ask to read the lot and then accept representation, I shall be editing it again as well! Several times.

    I honestly don’t think there is an answer to this question. I think we eventually have to have our fingers pried off the keyboard and wrapped around the neck of a full gin bottle. By the time we’ve finished with that we won’t care any more 😀


  3. Bisi Adjapon says:

    I know how you feel! Do you know that I finished my memoir five years ago? I’ve been polishing since then, and still haven’t finished! This would be the fifth draft! But it’s worth it. Best of luck in the contest!

  4. Thanks Bisi! 🙂

    ~ Tina ~

  5. Hi Tina ~

    I love editing!!! That’s my favorite part. 🙂

    This is just a quick note to let you know I left you an award at my blog:

    from the desk of a writer

    All the very best,
    Corra 🙂

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