Editing is a HUGE pain.

Nearly a year ago, I asked you all to pretend my book didn’t exist. I had become extremely critical of my old writing, and I could no longer bear having a book that I did not feel proud to read myself, let alone ask others to do so. So I started working on the second edition. I did not imagine it would take so long, but so many things have happened in the last year and I really, really fell behind.

BUT I’M DONE NOW. Finally oh my god. I did not think it would ever be over.

I have edited Puppet Parade to a point where I could read it without cringing inwardly. I don’t think it’s perfect now, but at least I don’t hate it, right? Right?

The book has now gone from 131 thousand words to a little shy of 105 thousand – that’s around 26 thousand words deleted, each unnecessary, a filler that added nothing to the story, but I was too hung up on these words. I didn’t want to kill them. This time, however, I hacked and slashed without a moment’s hesitation. Here are some things I noticed in this blood bath:

  1. My characters “look” and “sigh” way too much.
  2. I have also abused words like “seem”, “just”, “quite”, “stare”, “suddenly” and “feel”. CHOP CHOP CHOP.
  3. I sometimes went into long paragraphs describing how a character was feeling, and more often than not these feelings had been obvious all along and didn’t need to be spoon-fed to the reader.
  4. I fell into the villain monologue trope. Well not anymore! I think this is probably the one thing I’m most pleased about, haha.
  5. Occasionally I would “tell” too much, so I’ve tried to “show” a lot more.
  6. I ask a lot of rhetorical questions.

But that’s all been fixed now, and I can finally get back to working on other stories… until I decide to face the music again and edit my second book. Siiiiiiiigh.

I have already uploaded the new edition to Kindle, so people who already have it should receive the updated version soon enough (I hope? I’m not really sure how it works!). People who have acquired Puppet Parade through other means, please feel free to use my contact form to ask me for the new edition (and tell me which format you prefer!).

Or… you could wait until Friday and Saturday, the 21st and 22nd of August for the free promotion I’m running on Kindle! Yep – I finally was able to enroll Puppet Parade in KDP Select. But if you, like me, live in a place where Kindle isn’t supported or can’t get the book through the website for any reason, also let me know through the contact form and I’ll send it over. 🙂

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Mark your calendars!

How critical are you of your own writing? Have you ever released a second edition of your works? If you’re a reader, what kind of things bother you in books?

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15 thoughts on “Editing is a HUGE pain.

  1. Good for you for being so persistent and getting the job done. So much of writing (and editing!) comes down to that. And patience. Lots and lots of patience.

    Good luck with it!

    • Thank youu. I came close to giving up several times, I can tell you that much, especially when I just wanted to work on something else but this book kept making me feel guilty!

      Thank you! I really hope the KDP thing turns out great. 🙂

  2. I feel your editing pain. I spent a great deal of yesterday agonizing over a 7500-word short story that eventually ended at 5500 words. I can only imagine what editing 130 thousand words is (which is why me trying to go back to my old novel length stuff is daunting, lol). Kudos to you! 🙂

    • Honestly I don’t even know how I wrote that many words in the first place… to think that my very first draft was 145k… dang. If you put your mind to it, I’m sure you can pull it off! But of course, there are also all these other books by other people that need reading, haha.

  3. Zen, I know exactly how you feel, and I’m so happy for you that you undertook the editing task.

    I’ve learned so much since I began writing three years ago. In the past year, I’ve gone back and edited every one of my Susan Hunter books. I corrected a million comma errors (it felt like a million), restructured sentences, and fixed a few typos that slipped through. I originally had a bad habit of using the person’s name when talking to/with them in dialogue, and I fixed that in all books. My cover artist made a few tweaks to some of the covers, too. I feel so much better about my books, and I no longer flinch when someone tells me they are reading them.

    I’m looking forward to getting the changes to Puppet Parade. Good luck in Kindle Select. Having the opportunity to have people in Kindle Unlimited read your book is a great bonus.

    • It’s really amazing how much a person can learn in a few years… even a few months! I had the habit of using the person’s name too, then I realised, “Hey… I don’t say my friends’ names when I talk to them!”

      Thank you so much! I’m not sure if you read the book the first time around, but it’s definitely less cringe-worthy this time (in my opinion, at least, haha).

  4. Congrats! Yes, I absolutely hate reading my own work. My first book I wrote when I was 16, a long time ago and it has already gone through three full drafts and now I’m re-writing it completely and changing everything. >.< So maybe eventually I'll finish it. 😛

    • Haha, good luck! I almost considered rewriting Puppet Parade… ALMOST. But I really wanted to work on other books so I tried to make the best of the situation! I hope you’ll pick it up (since you were one of my first readers), and let me know if you notice any improvements. 🙂

  5. Yay!!! Nice work, love! I know how difficult that is after revamping my two last year. It does feel better to polish your work after gaining more writerly experience.

    And nothing is ever perfect, so be happy with the positive changes you had the courage to make. Can’t wait to read it!

    • Thank youuu. The problem with gaining more writerly experience, though, is that you can never let go of your old stories; you always feel like there’s something more that could be improved.

      I really hope you enjoy reading it! 🙂

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