writing-questions-answered:

Anonymous said:

Hello. Do you know when editing becomes overdone? I’m going to self publish a book on Amazon and I’ve read my entire story at least 20 times by now. I’m not sure if the things I’ve been changing at this point are anything more than me being nitpicky (changing words, delleting a few things, repositioning commas, etc). I’ve told myself I’d stop editing it once I could read the entire book without changing anything but I haven’t been able to do it yet. Is this the right course of action?

First, I just want to commend you on the efforts you’ve put in up to this point. For self-publishers who can’t afford to hire a professional editor, this extra hard work to ensure quality is *critical* to producing a quality book. 

Having said that, if reading the entire book without changing anything is your goal, you will never get there, my friend. Trust me on that one. The reality of being a writer is that you will never ever be 100% happy with your work. You’re always going to find words you suddenly hate, sentences that suddenly sound choppy, and commas that suddenly seem like they shouldn’t be there. Always. And, the truth of the matter is, even traditionally published authors–whose novels were edited by publishing house professionals–are going to find these kinds of problems in their novels. When you’re dealing with 80k words, it’s difficult to achieve total perfection.

So, you do need to cut yourself off at some point. If you’ve gotten to the point where you’re not finding any really glaring errors, like major typos, major punctuation errors, etc., it’s probably time to let it go, especially if you’ve already been through it that many times. Let it fly, know that it won’t be 100% perfect, and know that even professionally edited novels aren’t 100% perfect. 🙂

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