How long should editing take?

8 months ago | justinwenger4 (Member)

Writing is like baking, you have to get the timing exactly right to produce the best results. So I was wondering, how long do you guys usually spend on drafts? I set 2 weeks as the maximum for editing single chapters, because I feel that if it takes longer than 2 weeks to rewrite something, then I'm just being fussy, but I'd like to hear some other opinions on the subject.

Eidolonbound:http://royalroadl.com/fiction/11557

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Responses

  1. CorpseMoney (Member)

    Posted 8 months ago

    Wow, that makes me feel bad. I depending on my motivation it doesn't take me longer than a day, I write the first draft, go over it editing 2 or more times and I'm done.

    My web serial is titled, 'The Remnants'. I wrote five chapters and decided I needed to restart.
    so bear with me. https://geeklayers.com/2016/12/03/tr-chapter-1-its-all-good/
  2. Dary (Member)

    Posted 8 months ago

    First draft of a chapter (averaging 5,000 words) takes around ten hours. The second draft takes around fifteen to twenty. Further drafts usually take another ten, while refinement takes around five to ten.

  3. SovereignofAshes (Member)

    Posted 8 months ago

    If I can throw this out there... I think everyone should have their own system on getting their writing done. As individual as their voice with writing is. Some styles work for some people, and those same styles might drive someone else to the brink of madness. No matter how fast or slow your process is, if it works for you then stick with it. The only thing I would add is to take some time now and then to try out different ways of doing things so you don't get too much into a routine. You can always find a more efficient or interesting way to do things.

    For myself, the baking happens before I ever even start writing. I have to sit with ideas in my head for hours, days, weeks or even months. Choosing key points, key scenes, key wording in my head. Remembering it all, moving things around. Then when I feel that click once the baking is done, that is when the words flow to the page.

    I can usually get a rough draft of about 6,000-8,000 words done in two or three hours. Four to six hours for larger installments of 16,000 words plus. I write until the section is done. Or if I have a rare weekend to actually sit down, I keep going until I get exhausted a day or three later. Whenever the Monster cans start to fill up my desk.

    I do a preliminary edit for spelling, context, grammar and the like. This is usually about twenty minutes or so.

    I then sit down and read the work over three times. Picking at little details, moving things around, seeing what works and what doesn't work. If I have time, I do a final reading by saying the full text aloud to see where sentences drag, bunch up, or wording ceases to flow.

    I then place the work away for at least a full day, ideally a few days to a week. Then I return to the work with fresh eyes and rip it apart. I print the work out in manuscript format, grab a red pen and go on a slicing streak. I sit down and re-write the work. Check for spelling, grammar, context and style once more.

    Then I click the submit button, or else do another revision that is a little less harsh.

    Now, for Web Serial updates, I write out the rough in a few hours. I edit spelling and grammar for half an hour to an hour. Read it twice, aloud once. Hit submit. I don't have the luxury of too much time for that. Also, I follow the rule of... Unless I've signed a contract with someone, or I receive money for my writing, it's all rough. I can go back and revise, edit and change it at my whim. It's a hobby after all until a single cent rolls in.

    I have stuff on here too! The Vorrgistadt Saga.
  4. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 8 months ago

    I spent 1.5 years editing my first two novels, but that involved a lot of back and forth with 2 professional editors including a developmental one. Editing a first novel tends to be a piece of work. Afterward you can apply what you learned, so less editing is needed, but first novels... ugh. We could have done it in half the time, but there were scheduling issues, editors got sick, I got sick, etc etc.

    (note this mostly applies to my ebooks, the web serial was only partially edited from arcs 4-7, and not edited at all from arc 8 onward).

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world. http://anathemaserial.wordpress.com/
  5. LadyAnder (Member)

    Posted 8 months ago

    I don't see writing so much as baking. It's more like chili to me. Everyone has their own chili recipe they use. They use a recipe or some memorize it by heart, or the slap whatever they have in one pot and taste as they go. Some like it sweet, others like it mild, some like it it spicy, or some like it sweet and spicy(The best of two worlds.) Some create it entirely from scratch or some use mixes or cans. Some take their dried beans, soak them, and put them in a pot for half the day before adding all the ingredients, and simmer for an extra hour. Some slap everything together in crock pot to slow cook all day. Others, get a few cans, some meat, and make a quick one pot chili. They used different beans, different meats, different spices, and different vegetable, maybe no meat or maybe just beans and meat. However, at the end of the day, it's all chili. Some chili making processes are methodical and slow, others are really quick.

    That being said.I'm not a timer/goal keeper. I don't have a daily word count. I don't have a set block of time I spend writing and definitely not editing. Editing with me varies so much. It depend on the length of the section I'm editing, the story, how much focus I have, how much I've already messed with the story before I completed it, and simmer time. Everything is always, I'll get it done when I get it done. Trying to give myself a day to have everything complete is futile.

    A slice-of-life fantasy novel--> https://hyruhhaserial.wordpress.com/
  6. mathtans (Member)

    Posted 8 months ago

    Eugh. And then there's those of us who are physically ill at the scent of chili and can't be in the same room with it. (Seriously, anything with beans is bad, but even talking chili makes me queasy.) Oh well, writing metaphors can't please everyone.

    I don't know that I really "Draft" when it comes to serials. The ones I write based on audience votes are 2,000 words within 5 days. The time travel ones WERE originally written over 10 years ago, and have recently been revamped. Personified math is pretty spontaneous. In all cases, I do give it a second (or possibly third, or fourth) read before posting, where I tend to make final changes, but nothing substantial to an overall arc.

    Part of this might be that I'm a slow writer, there's no way I'm getting through those 2,000 words in less than two hours... so I've already edited as I went along, and I don't want to spend endless time rewriting unless I see a major gaffe.

    Writing a Time Travel serial: http://mathtans.wordpress.com
    Writer of the personification of math serial: http://www.mathtans.ca
  7. LadyAnder (Member)

    Posted 8 months ago

    lol, When I was younger I hated chili because of the beans. However, my husband loves chili and I leaned to like it myself. But I refuse to eat pinto beans. Bleh. I've leaned to love most beans, but like the lima beans, I shelled too many pinto beans to ever purposely eat them.

    A slice-of-life fantasy novel--> https://hyruhhaserial.wordpress.com/

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