I’ve been editing for months now.
I knew it would be hard, in fact I had been dreading it the whole time. At first, i’d imagined the words as a chuck of raw stone, and that editing would be the chisel to form the sculpture.
It’s not like that, not at first anyway. The most problematic thing with the story as it is currently is the complexity. Keeping characterisation up to speed while the plot unfolds has been tricky, and so far the majority of editing has been ADDING text to fix these problems. I guess to continue with the analogy, the raw stone had fissures, and I’ve been filling them with spackle.
And now I’ve generated a huge amount of words, and slowly I’ve begun to reshape it. In some parts this is easy, and even therapeutic to purge horrible parts so that no one will even be forced to endure them. The problem I guess comes from my paternal instincts to protect my work. A stranger would be much more ruthless, and would likely more easily see the horrible parts.
To try and combat my own blinkered view, I’ve been reading the entire thing out loud from start to finish with my girlfriend. She’s terrible at doing the character voices, which diminishes it quite a bit, but otherwise this has proved a useful technique for judging how well things flow, both in a grammatical and narrative sense.
I’m over 80% through at present, and when done I will be attempting to find an agent. Hopefully my amateurish attempts to fix the text will be enough to get their attention, so that the professionals can take over.