If You Want To Be A Writer You Better Learn To Love Editing

I mentioned last week that I’m in the midst of editing two books. One is almost done! Editing is a vital step before releasing a work out to the public and I try to be patient through the entire process. Before I went through this process for the first time I had no idea how much work was involved. I imagined I would sit on a beach somewhere and write and write and write.

Trust me, I do write a lot but there are times, though, when I feel like all I do is edit. After completing the first draft, I edit it. After my beta readers give it back with their comments, I edit/rewrite. Then I ship it off to my developmental editor. Guess what, I have to edit/rewrite again and send it back so my developmental editor can make sure I didn’t blow anything up. You might think it’s done now.

Nope. I edit it again before sending it to the proofreader. Surely it must be ready now? Not quite. I am the last one who holds the document before converting the files to publish the e-book. All the responsibility is mine. So I comb through it a few more times to catch errors that are easily overlooked.

Right now one of my buddies is reading, Claudia Must Die, helping me locate pesky errors. She’s found two so far and is halfway done. Two may not seem like a lot but it’s best to find them now before hitting the publish button. Some reviewers are not kind when they spot any. That doesn’t mean my novels are perfect when I do finally publish. However I do my best to get them as close as possible.

For those of you who want to write I’m not trying to discourage you at all. As much as I complain about editing, I love what I do. But you may want to know beforehand how much work is involved. And learn to love editing. There’s no way around it.

Now I mentioned the title of my upcoming release. Here’s a bit more information about Claudia Must Die:


Claudia doesn’t feel like herself anymore—she feels like prey. Her husband’s hired goons have stalked her all the way to Boston and will only stop their pursuit once she is dead.

Divorce is not an option. Instead, she has stolen a bunch of her man’s money to disappear into another life.

In order for Claudia to live, someone else must die. A lookalike college student becomes the target capable of freeing her from an awful marriage.

The plan goes horribly awry. Instead of murdering Claudia’s double, the assassins shoot the woman’s lover who is the cousin of a powerful Irish mobster. Claudia becomes hunted by all involved. Can she survive? Should she?

If all goes as planned, this novel will be released mid-December.


About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast (lesbianswhowrite.com) with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (iheartlesfic.com), a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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54 Responses to If You Want To Be A Writer You Better Learn To Love Editing

  1. I’m so impressed you have gone for a different genre, and based on your other books, I’m sure this will be a great read too. You’re going great guns. (Ha!)

  2. You don’t do things the easy way and stick to nice simple romantic comedies do you, just noticed that I’d not reviewed Confessions on Amazon yet so have just done so, needless to say I loved it.

    • TBM says:

      The one after Claudia is a bit more of a romantic comedy. Actually it’s the sequel to my first, A Woman Lost. Thanks for reading and reviewing Confessions. Much appreciated Bunny! Hope the kids are enjoying school.

    • The Monkey has really settled into school life and is even eating vegetables, he looks so tiny in his uniform though it breaks my heart to let him go some days, others I can’t wait to see the back of him. The Bug is less settled in nursery even if it’s only 9 hours a week he’s less keen to let go of my legs in the morning.

      • TBM says:

        Poor Bug. I wasn’t a big fan of school at his age either. I turned that around and didn’t want to leave university and kept collecting degrees so be careful. It gets expensive. And tell Monkey he can eat all my veggies.

      • Their mother took 12 years of further education before she was satisfied too, three degrees and an llb.

    • The Molehill loves school. Our local library has a kid’s summer course and he’s been in it since he was four. More than a few of his friends from there go to school so it wasn’t much of a transition.

  3. Colline says:

    All the editing is worth it, I think. As a reader it is annoying to read something that has glaring errors. Can’t say I have noticed any in your books TB.

    • TBM says:

      I know what you mean. I recently read a book that had where instead of were on several occasions. Once I understand, but repeatedly is a major issue. Thanks so much Colline!

  4. The fun part of editing to me is editing a single word per page. One small word can change the whole meaning of a scene and there are so many to choose from. That one change leads to another.

    “An explosion of flame erupted from his mouth.”
    “A jet of flame erupted from his mouth.”
    “A stream of flame erupted from his mouth.”
    “A stream of flame erupted from his maw.”
    “A stream of flame burst from his maw.”

    • TBM says:

      Yes! I agree. And I love seeing how my editors and beta readers help transform the entire product. It’s an amazing aspect of the journey and I think many would be surprised to see how much a story evolves during the process.

  5. One of the many things that I love about your books is your dedication to publishing a polished, error free story. One of the problems I have noticed with self-publishing nowadays is that some authors don’t put the time and effort into editing that you do, and the result can be a truly frustrating read, regardless of the fact that it may be a fantastic story. I mean, when a reader purchases a book with their hard earned money I think it is reasonable to expect a pretty much flawless work. I know it’s a great deal of work for you, but I admire your commitment :).

  6. A labour of love… and so important! Glaring errors can destroy the enjoyment for the reader. I’m not sure I’d have the patience. Editing a couple of articles a week is taxing enough for me, sigh. 😉

  7. lulu says:

    Editing is something that not all author seem to take too seriously. I’m sometimes amazed at what falls through the cracks.

    • TBM says:

      I agree with you and I would like to note it’s not just self-published authors. With the massive upheavals in the publishing world I’m noticing more mistakes in traditionally published books as well. It’s not as often but they are popping up a tad bit more. Or maybe I’m noticing them more. Hard to say really.

  8. Yes, this is something so many don’t understand. Editing, in a number of cases, can take more time than the writing itself. Can’t wait to read your new novel. Sounds awesome!

    Hugs from Ecuador,

  9. I’ve always enjoyed editing, there’s something about cutting unnecessary words that feels good. 🙂
    Your next book sounds very exciting, TBM!

  10. The first draft is my bane. I prefer to edit and revise. And it’s amazing how many mistakes critique partners can find!

  11. stephie5741 says:

    Writing, rewriting, writing some more, rewriting some more. Stephen King was right–by the time your book comes out, you’re SO sick of it!

    • TBM says:

      It’s funny because when the book comes out we need to be so gung-ho about it and all I want to do is focus on the next one and not think of that book again. It settles down after a few weeks and I don’t cringe when I think about it. But yes, King is right. We spend so much time with one story and the characters and they really wear out their welcome.

  12. So excited! Congrats on your upcoming book. This is a new genre for you. Do you think you’ll stick with thrillers / suspense in the future?

  13. Two pesky errors and your friend is halfway done reading it… say it isn’t so 😉 Your level of output and overall approach is so admirable. The cover of this one definitely jumps out and the plot is just crazy, but as in crazy good.

    • TBM says:

      Seriously I was shocked but then I saw them. Our eyes skip over so much when we get used to combing through them.

      Thanks Jeri. I feel so slow when getting a book ready for publication since I keep going over it and having people read it.

  14. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Well done for your tenacity.

  15. cleemckenzie says:

    Wow! That’s quite a plot. Good for you, TBM.

  16. Editing never fails to feel endless! I remember doing quite a bit of it when I used to write novels, and I still have heaps of editing to do whenever working on comics and art, heh.

    Also, CLAUDIA MUST DIE sounds like such an intense read! Best of luck with this come December… 🙂

  17. Sounds like a good one, TB. And you’re right — the editing must be done, no matter how long it takes. I’m on the final edit/proofread of my novella with Musa, and it’s good practice for the novel-length work I’ll be overhead in soon.

  18. I actually feel like I spend more time editing than writing! I edit, edit, edit! But- almost every time I think I am done something else is found and that sends me back to edit again. 🙂 Best of luck with Claudia Must Die! It sounds like a book that will have me biting my nails. 🙂

  19. Sherri says:

    This sounds like another great read TB, you are amazing how you keep writing. To think, I’m still on my first draft of my memoir! How long will I keep saying that?????? I know I have a long road ahead with the editing once I’m done and that just my own edits. Even my blog posts I bash out and edit by cutting most of it, so it will be a long road with my book draft, ha! But I am encouraged by your post and thank you for the great advice. You inspire me so much to keep writing. And again, I wish you every success with Claudia Must Die…great stuff 🙂

    • TBM says:

      I spent a very long time editing my first book. Probably too long. Just remember it’s good to have beta readers read it and don’t be afraid to send it to a professional editor sooner rather than later. Editors are our friends, even if they can be somewhat intimidating.

      • Sherri says:

        Thanks for that TB, very helpful. I do have one or two beta readers lined up but no idea where to find a professional editor. I might come to you for some advice on that nearer the time if that’s okay…

      • TBM says:

        Yes, email me when you’re ready. I’ve worked with two really talented editors and I know sites you can check out for suggestions and such.

      • Sherri says:

        That’s great, thanks so much TB, I’ll do that 🙂

  20. You’re writing a lot these days. Perfect. Yes, editing takes time. I hate it, but it’s a necessary evil 🙂

  21. I can’t wait to read your new book.

    I edit until my eyes feel like they’ll drop out of my face. I edit chapters in order and out of order, on the computer and on my Kindle. I’m glad I do, because many published books have errors.

  22. The Guat says:

    Holy crap! This one sounds like its gonna be intense crime drama thriller. Oooooh nice. Dude and I can’t believe you’re gonna put another one out. Dude I’m so proud of you! I’m still chugging away on book one and it’s been tough just trying to finish this one…all the writing and editing I’ve done so far feels like I’m never gonna finish sometimes. But you totally inspire me to kick some ass. Dude you are soooooooo money and you don’t even know it! Good luck with the editing process. I know you can do it! Shine on!

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