SCBWI Canada East Blog

March 3, 2015

1:29 PM 3
Hey fellow Creative Junkies. 

I am in the midst of editing a first chapter book. The first read never seems to be as good as when I wrote it. 

I have to admit that in the old days (a year or two ago), I would send my first draft to a critique group and be overwhelmed by all the suggestions and changes that had to made. It was discouraging and I would think that I was a horrible writer and living a pipe dream. 

Eventually, I realized that my writing was not the problem. It was a disdain of editing. I don't know an author who enjoys the process but it is a necessary part of creating a readable story. 

Many times I have found that I forget that the reader does not know the background that is my head. They need to know it to understand the story. This must be added in a way that shows not tells. 

Also when in the first draft, I forget the dialogue of children sounds must different than the dialogue of adults. If It is my goal to engage a young reader, I must make it young one friendly. 

Also a pretty basic part of editing is to make sure I have spelled everything correctly; that my sentences make sense; and that my verb tense is consistent. When I am writing a first draft, it is the equivalent of verbal diarrhea. And no one likes diarrhea. I find reading allowed helps me hear and better assess the voice of the story. 

To save yourself from being discouraged and the frustration of your critique group, take the time and take your time and edit your draft. 

This is just a few things I have learned about editing from fellow SCBWIers. 

I invited comments that work for you. 


  1. I actually don't mind revising because I find it easier than getting that first draft out. It's like a puzzle - rearrange, combine, cut, shorten. But editing grammar is definitely less fun; it's so nit picky.

  2. Ignorance is not bliss! I too experienced the confusion and doubt that comes from releasing a story too raw, too soon. Thanks to SCBWI conferences, I have learned the benefit of spending time revising early drafts before letting a story see the light of day. Thank you, SCBWI!

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