Me Can Self-edit

You’re a pretty talented writer. I’d bet a paycheck that you have some fairly witty shit going on in your novel. You’ve weaved a wonder of smart scenes, foreshadowing, and thematic allusions. You’re an author—the master of the narrative. And being that smart, well it makes it damn tempting to self-edit those very “limited” mistakes in your book. . .

Don’t Do It.

We’re friends, so let’s be honest.

Self-editing is like singing in the shower. It sounds good when you’re there under that running water. There’s a fleeting moment when you think, “maybe I should cut a CD.” But then, as the thundering water fades and you leave behind that small space and its heavenly, magical acoustics, reality returns—as does your reason. You realize you can’t carry a note, and you’re damn grateful no one heard you try.

That’s self-editing.

A magical moment when sanity flees and when fresh off that superpower feeling inspired by actually writing a novel you believe, “I can do this on my own.”

Trust us; you can’t. And as friends, it’s our responsibility to prevent you from showing up at The Voice tryouts in your bath towel.

Because self-editing is also a lot like chair-dancing to your favorite song. It looks much better in your head than it will to others.

So in this episode of Writers After Dark-Romance v. Horror, we dispel the silly romantic notions of self-editing and point to the possible horrors of going it alone. With our guest, editor Lynda Dietz, we discuss the editing process, chair dancing, and life on the editor’s side of the keyboard.