The Trouble with Over-Editing

One of the things that has afflicted my fiction writing lately, is that I’ve been editing while I write. I have a series of urban fantasy novels I’m plotting out; the novel series is dubbed, “The Violet War.” The first book, entitled “Traitor’s Masque,” is about the events leading up to a full-scale war between the magic users and the supernatural and mortals. For in my setting, everything is real.

My main character’s name is Sophie Miller, and initially this was going to be a third person POV so think “past-tense” and “narrated.” The narrator was either going to be omniscient (aka “me”) or by one of the creatures guiding Sophie through her actions.

Well, that changed. Again. I felt that the only way to really make this story pop is to tell it in the first person, active voice. You feel what the main character feels which, in this case, is part of the plot.

What my over-editing has done is create a slow start to my writing process; moreso than if I would have just sat down and typed the thing out. It has affected some plot elements, though, so that part was pretty good.

Without having an “actual” editor for my work (since I am considered a novice writer based on the fact that I don’t have a book sitting on the shelves in Borders) I feel that I’m sometimes more concerned with the end product before I finish writing the whole thing. The good thing about recognizing this, for me, is that I am planning a power-writing session this weekend. Go grab some coffee somewhere, put on the headphones, and just…write.

One Response to The Trouble with Over-Editing
  1. Peter Mark may


    It’s okay to plan ahead, but sometimes you gotta let the words flow out of your head onto the page. That’s where the enjoyment and good stuff pops up.

    Pete x

Monica Valentinelli is a writer, editor, and game developer. Her portfolio includes stories, games, comics, essays, and pop culture books.

In addition to her own worlds, she has worked on a number of different properties including Firefly, Vampire: the Masquerade, Shadowrun, Hunter: the Vigil, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn, and Robert E. Howard’s Conan.

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