When Editing Becomes Tinkering
Hope you didn’t come here to find out where that line is. I suspect it’s different for different writers.
I finished the fourth draft of my novel a few weeks ago and have jumped into what I hope are final edits (at least until someone tells me otherwise). I am no stranger to revision and trying to make my work the best it can be, so I’m always on the lookout for ways to make it better.
What I worry about is that I will delve deeper into things as I look for spelling, punctuation and clarity errors. It seems like things can always be improved and I worry about slipping into full revision mode.
I suppose when it comes down to it, there are worse things that can happen, but there’s that line between improving and ruining that’s hard to define. It’s like over-mixing your pancake batter and getting rubbery disks, that, while edible, are hardly memorable.
Here’s a pretty cool take on How to Stop Making Yourself Crazy with Self-Editing from Coppyblogger.
Once the brain makes enough mistakes — and corrects them — it now has a database of information that it can call upon at any time. Your brain has now reached its level of competency in that field, be it walking, talking or writing.
And there you have it. Writers write and all that. Now, off to make more mistakes.