Monday, January 29, 2007

Author Colleen Coble on Editing

During a writing discussion on one of my online writers' groups American Christian Fiction Writers we were discussing whether it's possible to over-edit our stories.
Bestselling author Colleen Coble said something that really resonated within me and I asked her permission to share it here. 
Regarding editing a novel, presubmission, Colleen had this to say:
What you've noticed is how STORY trumps writing every time. If the
story is engrossing enough, the reader overlooks a lot of slips that
we writers can make. Can we over edit? Only if you're letting someone
else have you take out things that are part of your voice. If you're
talking about tightening up and improving the writing in general,
then no, we can't over edit that. But you know, no matter HOW much we
edit, things will slip through that can be better. That's one reason
writing is so fun--you grow and change and your voice becomes
stronger and clearer with each book you write. I'm always reading a
book on craft because you NEVER arrive as a writer.

If you're editing and editing the same story though, ad infinitum,
stop it! That's the mistake I made that helped it take 7 years for me
to find a publisher. The best way to get better is to WRITE. Finish a
book, polish it as best you can, start sending it out and MOVE ON to
another book. Editing the same book over and over isn't going to help
you improve your storytelling ability.

Colleen Coble
Distant Echoes: Winner of '06 ACFW Book of the Year and Readers'
Choice Awards.
Available Now: Fire Dancer
I hope you visit Colleen's website. Be sure to check out her book trailer for Fire Dancer (great book!) because it's BEYOND COOL!

-- Gal. 2:20 Pouring my vial of words over Him.

A SOLDIER'S PROMISE~ Steeple Hill Love Inspired~ Jan. 2008

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