Today I wanted to talk a little about editing. It’s a huge part of writing and some people hate it with a passion. Editing, can be looked at as a second chance.


Or as a sign of what lots of us (sometimes insecure) writers fear.


As for I feel about the subject, well it kind of depends on the day and that can be a problem. Because if a book is due to a crit partner, an agent, a publisher, a bookseller, then the edits need to be done.

There isn’t always time for a writer’s feelings.

I’ve been thinking about editing a bit after my 7yo’s class were introduced to the idea that they didn’t have to get it right first time. There was a lot of confusion over this simple idea. The teacher asked me to come in and talk to them about how much editing goes into my work.

And it wasn’t until I was faced with this question that I realized just how much happens after the first draft is done. I’d like to think I write fairly clean but I also have many trusted readers who offer edits from basic punctuation through to opinions that can require big changes.

edit pic

I edit as I go. I often tweak a sentence or a paragraph or realize I need to put in something earlier to make the bit I’m writing make sense. Then I have one or several crit partners who read and offer insight. Then there’s my agent – she’s editorial and never lets me get away without making me write the best I can. Then, depending on the book, there are structural and copy edits at the publisher.

And there are still mistakes.

My editing tips are to involve people you trust – people who want to help make the work the best it can be. Start with the easy stuff and take it one point at a time. Also, remember it’s your story and everyone should respect that. Take advice on board but don’t make changes you don’t believe in.

Celebrate when you’re done – the story is BETTER now!

Anyone have any editing tips or horror stories?

(we’re all sympathetic here)



beck nicholas_ bec sampson


I always wanted to write. I’ve worked as a lab assistant, a pizza delivery driver and a high school teacher but I always pursued my first dream of creating stories. Now, I live with my family near Adelaide, halfway between the city and the sea, and am lucky to spend my days (and nights) writing young adult fiction.

Find me at my website:


Or on twitter @BeckNicholas


  1. As the saying goes: writing is re-writing. Like you, I write a fairly clean first draft. I can’t leave a spelling or grammar error sitting on the page, and don’t get me started on incorrectly placed apostrophe’s of possession! (Yep, gonna have to go medicate my nervous tick after that one.) This writerly anal retentive streak, however, means I don’t know the meaning of ‘fast draft’ and am constantly wrestling with my internal editor. But I’ve learned that writing is very much a process. One that involves translating the literary picture in my head into words, spitting those words onto paper, then shuffling, shifting and shaping the word mess into something that resembles the original picture in my head. It is here, at this point, that magic can happen because sometimes a whole new, more striking, picture appears. This is where those trusted people you mentioned above play a big role. Their critiques help get the shuffling, shifting and shaping underway. And then, bam! Editing magic 🙂 Great post, Beck.



  2. I’m one of those who hate editing because I have to hold myself back from rewriting the entire thing again and again and again. And once it’s ‘done’, I never feel like it’s finished.



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