Cross-Eyed in Editing

Let me talk about my writing. I haven’t done that in a while. I’ve noticed when writers blog about their writing in any detail my eyes glaze over. I like knowing what they are currently working on. I love knowing what their latest MSes are about, but I don’t want to read the details. You know, like what the main character is evolving into in the writer’s head or how the plot has taken an interesting detour. Hey, I’ve blogged about it, too. I know their pain, but I have my own details to slog through. So how do I tell you my struggles without boring you with something I know would bore me? Hm… I’ll give you one paragraph and let that be all.

burnt paper sxc (gerbra...)My manuscript Dragonfly Prince—the one I thought was the one? Yeah, that one. I’m ready to take it out of its binder and stomp on it. Or burn it. I’m not picky. It’s not a bad story, it just hates me. I think my decision to be rebellious and write my YA in third person was all wrong. It’s a whole lot of work to change it from third person to first person because perspective changes everything.

What if I go through all this trouble and it’s not right? Again.

Have you ever worked so long on something you can’t even distinguish what it really looks like anymore? I don’t want to give up, but this is the bazillionth edit. I still haven’t queried the manuscript! I want to do the best I can so I can say, “It’s done. Whether it’s accepted or not, it’s done.” It’s killer being a perfectionist…and an amateur.

Was that more than one paragraph? Oops. My frustration refuses to be contained in one paragraph today.

Photo from gerbrak at

Author: Rilla Z

I'm a scribbler. I'm genuine. My topics of interest are: this world, the worlds inside my head, and the world to come. Oh, and cups of tea. Yes, I write about my cups of tea.

10 thoughts on “Cross-Eyed in Editing”

  1. “Have you ever worked so long on something you can’t even distinguish what it really looks like anymore?” Yes, and it sucks. My only solution is to work on something else for a while and then return. If there’s a time crunch, and I don’t have that option, well then it sucks even more!


    1. It’s like a writer has split personalities: the hopeful personality that writes the heart of the work and the critical personality that sculpts something readable out of it! At some point both decide to go on strike, and I’m left hunting for a third personality. I’m sure I’ll find it. 😛


  2. I have never experienced anything like that, Rilla. You know why? Because I never stuck with writing anything as consistently as you have. So I can’t empathize, but I can sympathize. I liked the story a lot, whatever revision I read, anyway. You are a good writer, so keep on writing. Just enjoy writing whatever you write.


    1. That’s the important thing: to enjoy writing. I don’t want to lose that. And, as much as I rant, I love it–the challenges, the experience, the growth. Thanks, Mom O. I needed to hear you liked the story.


  3. As someone rebuilding her first two stories from scratch, I can answer with an emphatic YES. It’s a struggle. There are good days and bad. The characters are helpful and then they’re not. The revised ideas sound good and then they don’t. Sigh.

    But I can’t let these characters down, and they don’t want to let go. So somehow we’ll find a way to muddle through…. Hang in there!


  4. I definitely feel your pain. Please don’t give up. Start on something else, get it done, and then go back. Not that you want to hear this, but sometimes, you can over edit which may be what you have done. Take a little bit off.



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