Editing: When are you finished?

Wow.  When was the last time I actually wrote something that wasn’t an interview, guest post, part of a tour or blog hop?  I’m not sure.  Sorry about that guys!

Today, I want to talk about editing.  Simply because I am sick of looking at my own novel, so I’m procrastinating.  I’m actually pretty good at that.

When is a novel finished though?  How can you tell when your book is done with the editing process and ready to be thrown out into the world?

I am doing something fun for Read Me Dead’s 1st birthday, so I’m re-reading a few things, re-writing a few chapters, etc.  And as I read back through it, I see so much that I want to change, but is it worth it?  Is it worth going back to change it now?

Probably not.  See, I thought I was finished a year ago when I released my second baby, but I’ve grown as an author in just one year.  I’ve learned some new editing tricks.  I’ve learned new writing tips.  I’ve grown.  So, should I re-write RMD?  Probably.  Will I?  Probably not.

Why not you ask?  Well, look back on most authors first books compared to what they are now?  They aren’t as good.  With each book we write, we get better.  We learn.  Life is one big learning experience, and we have to treat writing as such.

So, is a piece of work ever really finished?  Maybe not in it’s entirety, but you do have to know when to finally stop editing your book.

Knight’s Academy is rapidly approaching the finish line.  It just went through an editor (after three rounds of beta readers), and now I’m re-reading it.  I’ll send it back to her for the final proofing, read through it again, and then I’ll be finished.  I’ve decided that I’ve read it enough.  I’ve done everything I can for it, and it’s time to let go.

Plus, I’m sick of it!  I’m tired of reading it, and I want to move on to book two and my romantic suspense.  I want to write again and not edit. 😉

What do you think?  When do you finally say that your book is finished?  ka edits


10 thoughts on “Editing: When are you finished?

  1. I think you answered your own question at the end. If you’re sick of it and ready to work on something else, it’s time to walk away. I think I know in my gut when it’s done. And I rarely look back. I agree with you about improving with each book we write. I would say my early books are immature and with each novel I grow and experiment. Thanks for posting, Emerald.


    1. You’re absolutely right. I guess I have fears of it not being good enough, but you know, I think that’s with every book I write whether it’s under edited or over. 🙂

      Thanks for commenting! 🙂


  2. Ah, those fiddly bits. I’m still trying to find that delicate balance between being too lenient with my work and being too nit-picky — especially when it comes to tiny changes like word choice. It’s all too easy to let that devolve into a “rock, paper, scissors” game. (“B sounds better than A. Hmm, but C looks better than B. But C doesn’t mean what I meant like A does…”) Eventually, you’ve just got to pick one and keep moving! Give yourself a break: The reader’s a little more interested in the whole forest than that one tree!


  3. Well, I think there are two questions. One is when it’s ready to publish. I agree with P. C. that that’s a gut feeling. I know I’m done when I start looking at a comma and wondering if it should be deleted, and then I remember that I only added the comma in the last round of edits because I started to wonder if there should be a comma.

    I say once it’s published, it’s done. Leave it be, learn the lessons, and move on.

    There’s a reason everybody complains about George Lucas. 🙂


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