Sunday, June 12, 2005

The Anxiety of Editing


Editing can be addictive, and that is not necessarily a good thing. I found myself fussing over punctuation way too much -- sometimes I'd change a comma to a semicolon, only to reverse it later. I guess it's an indication that the editing process is coming to an end. An objective editor can declare his work done at this point, alas, I am editing my own novel, and there is always the anxiety of thinking that I could've found and corrected more typos and bad writing if I were to go over it again.

Some time ago, a friend of mine had a new novel out; I bought it, took it home, read it through, not thoroughly but hurriedly, and was surprised to find six apparent typos. The book was published by a reputable publisher, and even then someone was being sloppy. On the other hand, I guess no reviewer of my friend's novel would say, "Jeez, look at all these typos. I'm gonna give it a failing grade."

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