Last week if you had asked me if I liked to edit, I would have replied “Hell, no!”. This week, ask me again and I’ll be happy to say, “Hell, yes!” All along, I considered editing to be a necessary evil, but a required step toward perfecting a novel. So you ask, “What made you change your mind, KJ?”
Before I answer, I think it’s only fair you have a little background on Kathryn James. For one, I don’t have a lot of patience and like instant gratification. Second, I like to plan everything and yet I don’t plot a single story. I still haven’t figured out how that one works. I mean how can I panster write when I plan my entire week on a calendar.
I’m drawing near the end of Crazy Beautiful Lies and I think I started having separation withdrawals about typing that very last period. The one that says ‘The End’. I know exactly how my hero and heroine are going to end up. I’ve known the last sentence I’ll type since the beginning of the story. But the finality of actually finishing made me take a step back for a breather. It’s a bittersweet moment because I’ve become pretty fond of my characters Blake DeLuca and Jenna Capwell. So I had to take a step back and take a little break.
Over the past few days, I’ve re-read some of the most amazing critiques I’ve received and it was like my happy button had been pushed! I realized with the help of my talented friends, editing simply meant perfecting my story. Some paragraphs required total re-writes. Others a little polishing. Several times I did a few facepalms asking, “what were you thinking?”, all the while I fully expect to shake my head a few times again. And I’ve smiled in awe more times than I can count at the comments I’ve received from my critiquers. Maybe even shed a few overwhelming tears.
One scene in particular played an important role in my new found love for editing. A kiss. I mean, if you love romance novels, who doesn’t want to read about a toe curling, gut wrenching, knock you out of the ball park kind of kiss? After making a few changes, I compared the old to the new. SQUEEEEEE! YES!!! This revelation actually made me do a happy dance in my chair. Who knew editing one little paragraph about lips nibbling on lips would open my eyes and give me a whole new perspective on the dreaded editing.
So, how about you? Do you love or hate editing? Do you tolerate the chore because you know it’s a must do? And finally, how do you edit? Do you use a pen and paper or have several open tabs on your computer?
Until next time,
Kathryn L. James (KJ)