After the freezing rain, my back yard is captivating. Grasses bend under the weight of their icy accessories–tiny crystal beads that coat their parched stems. A light dusting of snow covers the rock and dirt and brown detritus of fall, creating the illusion of unblemished beauty. In one night, my yard has been transformed into a magical place.
I’ve been known to feel this way about my manuscripts. But only after I’ve survived the sleet, the blizzards and the sub par temps of editing.
You see, editing can be a gruelling process. It’s a journey into winter, where hell can/and does freeze over. Where chilling winds sweep across the landscape of your novel and leave some parts bare. Where a writer can get lost in the mounting drifts of plot and character and setting, and lose sight of home.
Editing is a dangerous season that can kill dreams as surely as it kills car batteries. It saps the energy from writers and throws them into combat against the elements. Only a determined few ever reach the other side of the storm.
Editing is gruelling, but I love it.
What about you, dear writers? How do you prepare for the task of editing? What tips can you share to help other writers survive the pitfalls along the way? How do you know when your manuscript is ready to send out?
And most importantly, how do you prepare for the next storm? Because, inevitably, there will be more rewrites along the publishing path. Though hopefully with the guidance of an agent or an editor.
Curious minds want to know.