Fighting The Editing Muscle

Fighting The Editing Muscle

I’m writing a few different books these days. I generally try to just get a draft done, then worry about details later. But I am wondering if fighting the editing muscle means that it develops my story in a different way.


Fighting The Editing Muscle


Fighting The Editing Muscle


Note To Self

I often leave notes to myself in a first draft. For example, in my I-Can’t-Decide-The-Genre-Yet-But-Probably-Chick-Lit fiction book, there is a character who does have branded items. Clothing and shoes and things like that, which are meaningless and of no value to me. So I just put notes in, such as BRAND shoe or EXPENSIVE bag.


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Story Development

But when I don’t edit these nuances in during the first draft, I wonder if I’m not creating the world properly. If it means I’m not paying enough attention to making the character unique. And if I’m not making something stand out or be unique, am I creating an interesting story? Will the character not end up being a character, but end up being a shell of a character? If I’m walking a shell of a character through a story, how does that change the story? But on the flip side, is a story that I can edit into quality later better than a story that never gets written? I am a very distractible person – if I opened a search engine to look up the answer to every question I have on a brand or a style, I would never get the book written. 


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I also wonder if part of this is that I am very out of the habit of writing fiction! The books I’m releasing this year are a satirical series of things in real life. A lot of the words for those books were written last year during NaNoWriMo. And while publishing those books are my main goals in 2020, I have both a sci-fi book and this chick lit (I hate that term) book that I’m working on that are “real” fiction. I always get a bit thrown off by satire – because of course it’s made up but it’s also poking fun at real life, so I feel it sits in a weird place between fiction and non fiction. It’s certainly not the same as writing a fictional novel. 


How do you write? Do you just get any old draft out, or do you spend time thinking about nuances, even at the expense of speed?

16 Replies to “Fighting The Editing Muscle”

  1. Hello Ness!

    Interesting to read about your writing style. I only write blog posts so probably not the same train of thought process for novels? Anyhow, I edit as I go, because if I don’t I find it hard to get in the zone and flesh things out. Down side of that is it takes me FOREVER to write a blog post because I’m always tweaking. I try to leave it for a day and come back to it a day later with fresh eyes before I actually hit publish. I think I’d be very old and grey before I published a book using this method.

    Good luck with your publishing goals for 2020.

    Sandra. x

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      Editing is the thing I dislike the most about writing! It’s so detailed and I don’t really enjoy detailed work! I am hoping that with a few months gap between writing and publishing, things will “jump out” at me and make it easier to edit.

  2. I left a fabulous comment but it all timed out so let’s see if I can remember it. It was something about how I write first drafts quickly & the books I struggle with are those I take my time with. My first drafts are always thin & a tad disjointed as I don’t plot so the second pass through fleshes it all out.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      There is something to be said for having a flow – I think it all marinates in your brain and if you give it too much of a break, the gel you have with a story is gone.

  3. Whenever I have tried my hand at fiction, I’ve spent ages on world building and sometimes then don’t get around to writing anything! So I like this approach of writing a draft and editing later.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I think it’s a benefit to the NaNoWriMo model of writing – get a first draft! Otherwise we can think we’re writing for so so long and never actually write.

  4. I feel like writing too slowly is a huge issue for me. But writing a novel is something completely different. You should be very proud of yourself!

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I think momentum keeps me interested and therefore I keep going. I don’t know what length anything I’m writing will end up – for now my comfort zone is around 10k words which is very far off of “standard” length. I figure if they don’t end up “long enough” they can be short stories, novellas – I’ll work that part out later.

  5. Congrats on the writing (and editing). I need to work on both muscles. And whatever it is that activates the muscle…. so I start in the first place.

    You’re so good at following through on your commitments. Well done!

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I don’t feel like I follow through very well – but thank you for thinking I do 🙂

  6. Well you’re a more productive person than I because I have flexed neither my writing or editing muscle. So I have no advice other than do what feels right for you.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      That is still good advice!

  7. Well done with your writing and editing! It’s your book so do what feels right for you. Writing novels seem too big of a commitment for me so I blog to keep my writing practice. #lifethisweek

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      The great thing about self-publishing is that you can choose how long the novel is! No commercial requirements 🙂

  8. I admit I write from the heart and a bit from the head. The only editing I do is for some grammar. I find the cathartic nature of writing on the blog the best thing for my health.

    Thanks for sharing what you get up to when you write.

    Thank you for joining in Life This Week. Next week’s optional prompt is Share Your Snaps. Hope to see you linking up too. Denyse.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I think in the end it always ends up being a mix of both.

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