Natasha McNeely's Author Blog

Never stop dreaming, 'cause the day you stop dreaming, is the day you stop living.

Editing: Choosing when to start


Almost a month has passed since I finished the first draft of Tales of The Forbidden and since then, I haven’t even opened the document. I chose not to for a specific reason – to distance myself from the characters I spent a year with, the trials I endured with them, and the twists and turns in the plot that I laid out for them – the words I weaved.

Many writers say to take a break from the draft after finishing it; I concur.

When you first finish a draft, you’re exhilarated, high from the rush and perhaps even sad that it’s over. Many writers want to whip the draft into shape as quickly as possible and dive into editing straight away.

That makes it easy to overlook mistakes.

Distancing yourself from your first draft is the first step to disconnect yourself from your characters and the world you created. That way, when you dive into it headfirst after your break, you look at it with fresh eyes, from the view of a reader, or an editor – someone who is rediscovering an old tale, something you have a vague recollection of in the distance shelves of your memory.

Editing with this fresh view allows writers to spot mistakes they would have been too blinded to see otherwise. Plot holes, no matter how small. Typos, sentence structure, grammar, wrong word usage, and every other little thing that shows up when you’re powering through words to get that first draft on paper (or a screen).

This is the reason I delayed my start of the edits of Tales of The Forbidden to February 1st.

Choosing that date gave me a month to relax and focus on other things, to use some of this much-needed time for myself and some fun things, like catching up on some reading and videos games.

But, fear not! In just ten days, I will begin edits and get into writing the sequel, Mercy of The Forbidden.

Let’s get this show on the road.

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Author: Natasha McNeely

I'm a writer, reader, gamer and a dreamer. I love losing myself to thought and considering possibilities. That is how I create my stories and weave the erratic tales into readable ones.

6 thoughts on “Editing: Choosing when to start

  1. One of the best parts of taking a break is, for me at least, the excitement of reading parts I don’t remember perfectly! It’s fun to see where I took the story, or come across a great piece of dialogue.


  2. Hope it goes well. Taking a break definitely helps, but be careful not to take too long of a break. That’s what happened to Half Life, for me. :/

  3. Yep, great advice Natasha. I put my current book away for a couple years while going through some family stuff. By the time I got back to it I definitely had fresh eyes, not only because I hadn’t seen it for so long, but because life beat me up a bit and gave me more perspective and experience to incorporate into my characters:)

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