Editing can exhaust you. I’m still on the editing stage of my writing and I found it hard, really hard.
I find myself wishing I could only write, write, and write as many stories as possible… and have somebody else do all the editing stuff. Of course, this poor being, the “editing person” wouldn’t understand a sh**t of my writing since my first drafts tend to be terrible.
Editing is taking all my energies. Why? (Please consider this is my first time editing my work, so maybe next time the process will change a lot, a.k.a. I intend to write much better first drafts) So why do I struggle so much with it? These are the main focus points of my editing:
- In my editing, I delve into characters as much as possible
- I try to make pacing well…. The right pacing
In delving into my characters…
As Stephen King says, we should write with the door closed and edit with the door opened. Well, since I wrote with the door closed, I managed to convince myself to edit with the door opened. This situation has taken me to uncomfortable situations described below.
I find myself doing these weird actions:
ACTION speaking the dialogs out loud to spot my tone voice, the accuracy of words (meaning if they really sound as “dialog” and not as boring description), and the feeling of each phrase in general.
RESPONSE Some scared people circulating in my house watching me speak in a foreign language while whining, screaming, shouting (or doing whatever my character is doing)
ACTION trying to feel inside my character, be my character, step into his shoes, mind, whatever there is to step into.
RESPONSE Again some disturbed people in my house watching me making faces to a mirror as I try to look sad, happy, etc.
But besides the fact that people in my house are already looking for a psychiatric institution for me, what is the problem with delving into characters?
I get exhausted. After only a couple of pages, sometimes only one or two… I feel all my energy lost, making it very difficult to make progress in my writing. (I have set up a goal of at least 10 pages per day)
And what about the right pacing?
This point has got me erasing tons of paragraphs, adding tons of new ones, and probably erasing them the next day again. I feel I still need to find a “technique” in this.
In some paragraphs, action scenes and characters would move too fast without giving too much thought to feelings, etc., for example, “the man grabbed the knife, stabbed three times and run….”
But in other scenes, I will find myself describing every lash of anger, every tensed muscle of a character’s body.
The result, a weird pacing….
I’m trying to find a balance here. I found that it actually depends on my mood… and how long I’ve been editing that day. In other words, I start with energy at its peak, writing strong character-driven scenes, and after an hour or so, I just want to narrate the scenes as fast as possible.
So, the idea of this post is to get as much feedback as possible. Many of you have already been through this or at least have more experience than me.
What do you do to Not get exhausted so fast when you’re feeling too much inside a character’s head?
How do you deal with pacing? Is it common to start with full energy and then just get bored? Would you recommend me to shorten the amount of pages I had set up as a goal for editing per day?