So a little while ago, I discussed an article on Authors Publish about the stupid things that authors believe. Well, this concept of our erroneous beliefs is big enough that we need a part two, so Kurt Bubna is happy to illustrate for our eager eyes another fine point in: Stupid Things Authors Believe, Part 2.
Yeah, the need to be published “uncensored.” In other words, publishing your first draft without even having anything other than basic proofreading (and for some, not even that).
For those of you who think that publishing a first draft is fine, I have but one question for you:
Are you out of your fucking mind?
I have to wonder about your level of ego to think that your first draft is untouchable. At least I did at first, but I understand. If you’re a new writer, or haven’t been in the arena for a while, you’re soft. Delicate. Like little frilly panties. It’s not just your ego that’s keeping you from an editor making your manuscript bleed and cry salty tears. It’s fear.
Fear that you’re not good. Fear that you suck. Fear that you’re just a hack with no original thought. Fear that [fill in the blank]. Yeah, that’s what’s holding you back. You have likely grown attached to your first draft.
Let go. Put away your frilly panties and go commando. You’re gonna chafe. Bring powder.
In the hands of a professional editor, your work can be transformed into something great. A developmental edit will help you with the structure of your novel, places where your characters need improvement so that they feel real, and finding important plot holes. Clarifying your work. Making it into something memorable.
Keep this in mind: Just because it needs work doesn’t mean it’s bad. Keep that in mind. Even Hemingway hated his first drafts, because they sucked. They’re supposed to suck, because all you do in your first draft is get the story out. That’s it.
So yes, your precious baby manuscript needs to be massaged and developed. Let your baby grow and learn to walk on its own. Get an editor.
Now, if you’re self-published, that’s not cheap, but it’s worth it. I’m lucky enough to have a professional in-house, who rips my work apart. If I had feelings, they might get hurt. Luckily I got calluses on those feelings a long time ago. Now I enjoy edits. As you grow in your writing, you may not come to enjoy them, but you’ll appreciate them.
Hang in there. It’ll be okay. Just write, and worry about the edits when the time comes.
I’m Anne Hogue-Boucher, and I approve this message, or words to that effect. I am in no way affiliated with BubbleCow Book Editing. I just like them a lot. Come follow me on Twitter or Facebook and fill your head with the occasional joke and scary story, sometimes combined.