Patience is a virtue that I don’t have

untitledEditing is taking forever, Stephanie Meyer wrote Twilight in 3 months, but editing is taking that long just by itself! Every time I go back over it I find a detail I missed or could have elaborated on. Not to mention all the grammar issues, I didn’t realize exactly how complicated grammar is, it’s like a foreign language in itself! They say you just have to stop editing at a certain point because perfection is impossible, but my mind is not content with anything less than perfection. How long do you usually spend editing and when did you decide you were done?


About Everyrosehasathorn

So I have finished my first book, Every Rose Has a Thorn, which is available on amazon for free if you have an amazon prime membership, or 2.99 otherwise. This is a book about Emily Rose who is drawn into a battle between angels that want to not only destroy the world and human race, but for some reason want her on their side when they do it! She must learn that doing what is right isn't always easy, especially when you fall in love with a very dangerous angel! View all posts by Everyrosehasathorn

51 responses to “Patience is a virtue that I don’t have

  • Richard Due

    I spent a year a piece on The Moon Coin and The Dragondain. During that time, I worked with two other editors. All told, a Moon Realm book takes about twenty-five complete passes and two read-alouds. Of course, that doesn’t take into account the number of passes various trouble areas can rack up. Currently, I’m partially through the third book in the series, The Murk, but I’ve had to take a much needed break. When all is done, though, I suspect it’ll take just as long as the others.

    Editing is like walking across a room strewn with rose petals and thorns. When you can walk across mostly unbloodied, you’re finished.

    • Everyrosehasathorn

      I love you comment about the throns, so true! I think my biggest thing is just making sure every detail adds up, I diddn’t use a cut and dry outline since I was changing details along the way, but I also don’t want to leave any inconsistancies.

    • SFF Madman

      Twenty-five passes! No wonder I feel like my manuscript (which has gone through five drafts so far, working on number six) is isn’t even close to being ready!

      But I like the analogy too. “Mostly” is the operative word.

  • carowhack

    DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO STEPHANIE MEYER! Good things take time….and imho Twilight is not the type of writing to which you should aspire. You’ll be better off taking your time and striving for that elusive perfection 🙂 Best of luck!

  • Richard Due

    Oh, right! Continuity errors! I forgot to mention my crack squad of beta-readers. I’d be sunk without them!

    I see a book as a deep lake. While I’m editing, there’s still time to get it all right. But once I stop the editing, once it goes to print, the lake freezes solid. Thereafter, I have to live with all my mistakes. In a series, especially one with wickedly complicated plotting, this problem compounds, as every new book must jive with the frozen lake.

    • Everyrosehasathorn

      I have had quite a few of those errors that I’ve caught by chance, but I err to think of how many have slipped past me. I’m trying to get the outline of the second book all sorted while I’m still editing the first, otherwise I’ll have to do back tracking in the second book if anything has to be changed and that will get super confusing!

  • Stephanie Buosi

    I find that once I’ve spend a decent amount of time on a piece, it helps both to take a short break, or hand it to a friend to read. It’s good to detach yourself from your work, because once you return, you are fresh, and ready to spot what you missed. Here’s a great blog post that might interest you on the subject of editing:

    • Everyrosehasathorn

      Well I have a one year old I’m constantly chasing so those little breaks help clear my mind, I am just realizing how little I know about grammar. I don’t even know most of the rules or anything.

  • hollietuxlil

    I think you’re right, perfection is impossible and it’s not something to strive for. I had an English prof in university who said “writing is never done, it’s only due”. This really stuck with me because it’s true–you can always go back and change something or see something differently but at some point you need to step away from it. I guess when you’re content with it, knowing that there is no such thing as perfection…. 🙂

  • Rob Klecha

    I feel your pain! There’s nothing quite as soul destroying as going over the same thing again and again, spotting mistakes and making slight improvements. But at least you’re writing, it could be worse!

  • Jane Cowen

    Do not compare your process to Stephanie Meyer’s! I read all the books when they came out and they are so badly written so that’s probably why they were written so quickly! You’re right to be so thorough, it will all pay off in the end!

  • quirksmag

    I know precisely how you feel, but I would advise you to just set a time frame and stick to it. Maybe, after that, you can ask a reliable reader for some insights, a fresh pair of eyes can never be underestimated.

  • David Allen

    Your schedule for writing will depend on a lot of factors. If you have all day, every day to write, you’ll go faster than if you just have an hour here and there.

    And does structure/planning factor in? My last novel got its first draft done in 20 days, but it’s closer to 2 months if you include planning.

    My current one took 5 months to write the rough!

    The point is, take it a day at a time, you’re not writing the best Twilight you can, you’re writing the best Every Rose Has A Thorn that you can.

    And thanks for the follow!

  • noellerath

    I usually do one rewrite (put the original side by side with a new blank document, retype the stuff that’s good, leave out the stuff that isn’t, and fill in all the holes). It’s a good way to really see what’s missing or weird. But I also edit as I go, so that isn’t as time-consuming as it sounds.

    Oh, also, I really recommend checking out the book Self-Editing For Fiction Writers. It’s super helpful and you’ll learn a lot.

  • SFF Madman

    I can tell you that I am rarely satisfied, at least when it comes to novel-length works. I have only two *complete* manuscripts to show for 26 years of writing. I’ve written quite a few shorts that I’ve sometimes felt fairly good about after only a few drafts, but I know there’s always more work to do.

  • countingducks

    I think editing often takes longer than writing. It’s just a by-product of wanting your work to be the best it can be

  • jenniferkmarsh

    There does come a point when you just have to say, “Hey, I’ve done all I can and it is what it is,” when it comes to editing. There is no such thing as perfection, and most certainly no such thing as a perfect book. Every writer can endlessly criticise their work, you’ve just got to learn to accept it for what it is.

  • Nadia

    well if I would edit I would probably never ever release what I’ve wrote!! ..I mean I can’t even stop editing when I’m writing a comment or posting something. there fore I just stopped editing anything…i might read it through once again, keeping my self from changing too much. and that’s it XD.. of course this is not an advice or something at all!! … it’s just I can understand how hard it must be … good luck with your writing and editing 🙂

  • tokyoaaron

    I consider a story or essay as “done” once it’s published; unti then, I can’t let go! I revise unpublished pieces endlessly, sometimes for years until it finally gets accepted somewhere or I have changed so much with the passage of time that I can no longer connect with the person who had the idea in the first place…

  • crazyambivert

    good luck with your new book !! 🙂

  • Sally

    I wonder (for me) if it’s editing or a form of procrastination? I too am searching for perfection, and enjoy the editing process even more than the writing. Yet sometimes, I get to the point that I’ve read my writing so many times I can’t even see what anyone would like about it anymore. Not very productive.

  • lostandtwentysomething

    I wish you luck with your writing endeavors! I myself am currently diving into writing a novel. I don’t feel I’m in any position to give advice, but one thing I read that always sticks with me is to write for yourself and learn to let go. Hope that helps!

  • nerdoutwithourwordsout

    Short Answer: Forever!

    Long Answer: My need for perfection causes me to spend way too much time editing. I am almost identical to you. I can see things I want to or should have went into more detail about EVERY time I reread a piece of work. I have the worst habit of saying “Hey, what if I changed this one small thing and….” 2 hours later I give up. The best thing I have found is to have a buddy I trust read over my work and get a second opinion. It helps a little bit.


    Nessa ❤

    • Everyrosehasathorn

      I’m actually in the process of trying to find someone who will give me advice I need and not be afraid to be harsh, but not overly harsh. Family is wayyyy too lenient, and most friends get wrapped up in the plot line and don’t help with grammar and such lol.

  • earthriderjudyberman

    My husband, who is an editor, goes over my post before I publish. He also was my editor when we briefly worked together at a weekly newspaper.

    I prefer to have a draft ready a week before I post. Then, I have the ability to edit. But the more time I have, the more I agonize over my writing. Sometimes, we all have to just move on … and write something else.

  • Ancient Explorer

    I read somewhere that you should find the best part of your book — you know, the part that is just perfect, every word and thought pops — and use that as the standard to edit by. I do that, but it’s a tough benchmark.

    A lot of ideas flow onto the paper when writing. They don’t always come off quite the way they appear in your mind. The editing process is like finishing a sculpture, it takes awhile. It hasn’t been my favorite part, but the results are what make you want to do more. Each pass through, I feel closer to having it exactly how I want it. That stop point will come. You can’t rush it.

    Write what you want to write, not what you think others want you to write. And those parts that just aren’t working no matter what you do, delete! Didn’t think I could do it, but when I did, the finished product was much better.

  • wgibbs1

    I am totally on your wave length, my new book ‘Waters of Time’ has taken a lot longer than three months, in fact It went over to three new Windows programs, which I am now adjusting accordingly. So Ye Ha carry on regardless.

  • Theresa H Hall

    Hello and thank you for subscribing to my blog. My eldest sister is the quintessential editor. I’d rank her as almost perfect. If you want your work to shine you’d be doing yourself a service by enlisting her services … she works virtually, from home. If you’d like I can introduce you to her. Simply drop me an email and I will send you her direction.

    Most sincerely,

    Theresa H Hall

    “Write first with utter abandon.”

  • rookswriter

    It’s taking me 3 months to write the first draft of my book, nevertheless editing (which frankly, with the way I rewrite, it may take me a year) Edit until YOU feel like it is the best you could have done. It’s hard to decide when that is, but I trust you. 🙂

    • Everyrosehasathorn

      I plan on writing three books to bring the story to completion, so the first is still in progress, but the main editing is done it’s mainly just waiting so I can hammer out the events of the next two books and make sure everything correlates. I don’t know if it will ever be perfect, but it will be close! Good luck on editing your book, what’s it about?

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