When shall writers edit their stories?

When I started writing, I thought the chapters were perfect. However, the comments showed otherwise. People started to point out mistakes and suggestions. Then the question came to my mind:
Shall I edit it right now? Or just wait till I finish writing the book?

If I edited the book after finishing it, people might find it unprofessional of me leaving it as it is.
And if I edited the book as I write, chapters might be written slowly as I’d mainly focus on editing previous chapters.

What should I do?

PS: I am talking about minor editing, like grammar or typos :sweat_smile:

Wait until you are done!!! I can’t stress this enough!

The whole point of a first draft is to just get the story put down. A lot of people don’t let anyone read their first draft because it’s so rough. Once you get the whole story written, give yourself a break–a few weeks or more–before going back for edits. This gives you time to clear your mind and see the work with a fresh pair of eyes. If you edit each chapter as you go, your story will never be good enough for you. You’ll get done with it, and see that there are still a ton of mistakes. Now you just wasted a bunch of time that could have been put towards just writing, and it’s all for nothing. This happens to everyone, so don’t worry.

Also, embrace the criticism. That way, when you do eventually go back to edit, you can take into account all of the suggestions. This is why posting a first draft on Wattpad can be good. People are bound to let you know what works and doesn’t work. Don’t let it get you down or discourage you.

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Focus on getting the book finished first.

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I personally finish writing and editing my books before I post them on Wattpad. After I finish writing, I go back to do my edits and then start posting. Some of my readers still catch mistakes but they’re pretty minor.

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I guess I’m the odd one out. Probably because I’m not that good a writer. I write a chapter, then re-edit it a few times.

But because nobody reads my crap I can afford to re-edit the parts I’ve already published, so that’s fine. It would be even better of I would have readers so they could correct my mistakes, might make me even more productive. Now if they could also write on my behalf… :sweat_smile:

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You keep editing until youre done lol

I think I have like 8 drafts before its perfect and while editing I use TTS reader so I can hear it from someone else.

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I suggest editing the book once it’s done/almost done. Once you’re able to look away from your work for a while, you return with a fresh set of editing eyes. It helps you catch mistakes you wouldn’t have realized earlier!

I normally get close to the end of my book, then begin editing from the beginning. Then, once I have a few chapters editing, I gradually start posting it :slight_smile:

Hope this helps!

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It’s definitely easier to edit it after you’ve written the entire thing. You just don’t have that crushing weight of choices when it’s already finish. That happens to me, I feel guilty for editing it when the story needs so much more progress to be even close to finished.

But when I’m done, I can edit to my little heart’s content

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Your point of view is pretty much convincing for me. I do accept the criticism and I love to know what’s wrong with my book. It’s just this doubting feeling that continuously makes my mind restless :neutral_face:

But won’t that let me lose readers’ interest? :pensive:

Minor editing or major editing?

Major editing, like plot changes of already posted scenes or the like, should be left until the end.
Minor editing, grammar mistakes, typos, awkward wording, etc, can be fixed as they’re noticed.

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Do you edit the minor mistakes or just be satisfied by your editing? :eyes:

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I prefer editing after finishing posting because otherwise it creates multiple drafts, where I corrected stuff or didn’t. I just can’t remember that. Plus, editing drops the comments down from inlines, and Wattpad lags, sometimes replacing edits from backup. So you are like, didn’t I correct that?

So, I say ‘thank you! I will flag this for when I am doing the editing run!’ In repsonce to the comment. And that’s what I do.

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Don’t say so! No author shall think his work crappy and you shouldn’t! Readers will come eventually so don’t get so bumped about it :relaxed:

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I also edit the minor mistakes. :joy: As soon as I get a comment pointing it out, I fix it right away.

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I completely understand! I know it sounds like I know what I’m talking about, but I’m still not really experienced in the grand scheme of things. Besides, what works for me may not work for you. If you are concerned about what others will think, go back over each chapter before you post it. Fixing a few grammar errors here and there will make your work better. Even I do this a lot.

Also, do you outline before you write? I used to be super anti-outline and insisted that I could fly by the seat of my pants. It wasn’t until I started outlining that I realized it really helps. By planning out exactly what you’re going to write, you can avoid things like plot holes and inconsistencies. If your readers are noticing these things, consider doing an outline if you don’t already.

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Wait until you finish the story, or else you’ll be having to double back and edit parts to match the later chapters. It’s best to just wait until the whole thing has been done and over with so you can gather all those comments and suggestions and use that for the revised material.

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I do so too! I use Grammarly for more help, but still some readers find some words confusing or inappropriate

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Definitely full edit at the end! For me, I usually do a quick read over of my chapter, fix some basic errors, then put it out, but don’t full edit until the end! Just read it over to make sure the grammar is correct, and nothing more!

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I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve edited my story (both before and after uploading it). I’m actually in the middle of editing right now. I was about to upload the second part of my ninth chapter, but paused because I figured it wouldn’t hurt to do one last drag through my work. This is probably going to be the last time (I always tell myself this and then go back on my word lol) that I’ll go through these chapters unless someone points out something that I think needs fixing. I decided these occasional look throughs are best to do every 10 chapters for me so because I already have chapter 10 outlined and the second part of chapter 9 ready I’m editing now. I prefer to edit as I go and do these sporadically because I mostly just edit for strange word choices and clarity not actual content (because then how are people who already read your stuff supposed to know that you added or erased something important?)

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