There's a bit of perfect storm going on over in the Nash writing camp at the moment. By pure chance, there's a new novel (Iron Junction), a new edition of Ryders, a short story in that universe, and two more spec fic short stories - all due out within a month of each other. I mention this not for its own sake (though, given it's unlikely to happen again, I'll take a moment to admire the alignment of stars), but because in cleaning up my office this week, I found all the versions of all those stories - bundles of revised pages riddled with scribble and corrections, which reminded me of how things have changed.
My first attempt at writing a novel ended around Chapter 3 when I realised I had no idea what I was doing. My second attempt (probably 8 years later), which I did finish, was a disaster. Some likeable ideas, but poorly told, in both story and line craft. My editing attempt was pretty haphazard, and I loathed editing, which was reflected in the end product. That book is still in pieces - a much loved idea that hasn't found form. I moved on. Four years and three manuscripts (and countless editing later) came Ryders Ridge. By that time, I'd learned a few things about how to edit - how to plan for it, how to execute it, how to finish and move on. More experienced writers than me shared their insights; and steadily, I came to love it.
Some of the reasons I hated editing in the beginning were: 1) The awfulness of examining my own work, 2) the hugeness of the task, 3) not knowing where or how to begin, 4) having no idea how long it would take or when I'd be done. I now have a method that solves those problems and works for me, and this year, I've been given the opportunity to share it through QWC's Year of the Edit.
So, if you have a finished draft and you're new at editing, or if you loathe it (but know you need it - we all do), or if you're just daunted by the size of the task, join me for Year of the Edit. I'll do my best to show you a way forward, and maybe you'll come to love editing too. :)