Writing Tips: Breaking away from Editing
You just typed The end at the end of those 100,000 or so words that you slaved over. Cried over. Screamed at the blank page because it was taunting you. Pat yourself on the back. Have a beer or glass of champagne to celebrate!
So what comes next? Revision. It never happens the first time. Ever. Even Stephen King doesn't crank out a finished work the first time around. You still have your head in the game. You're deep into the minds of each of the characters. You know where those loose plot points are and just how to tie them up.
Before you jump back in....STOP...STEP AWAY....you will thank yourself later.
It's been said by famous writers, the best way to revise or edit is to step away for a chunk of time. Weeks, and then go back when you're head isn't in it any longer. Why? Because now you are objective. Now you can read it with new eyes, the eyes of a reader. You can see those spots that you might have missed, that weird thing your character is doing (Seriously, what was I thinking?) That entire scene that needs to die the death of the delete button.
“You’ll find reading your book over after a six-week layoff to be a strange, often exhilarating experience.”--Stephen King
Stephen King has what has been coined "the drawer method." He takes his manuscript and stashes it in a drawer and leaves it there for at least six weeks. Of course, most of us might turn to a more electronic version of this. My personal method Is as follows: I crank out a first draft in about 2 months. I stash it. I write a second rough draft during my waiting period. When that one is done, I go back to the first stashed manuscript, read it, and start my revision with fresh eyes. I promise, it wont take you long to get back into the head of your characters, and you will be a better writer for it.
So give it a shot. Step away, write something else, and go in and edit with a clear mind. The extra step will make a difference.