Why I Am Still, A Year Later, Editing My Novel

Every day I get asked the same question, “Why are you still editing that novel of yours?”

I don’t think the answer is that complicated.  I simply want to produce a quality story in the end.  And, while I and others who have read Under the Darkened Moon think that the story is good, I personally don’t think it is good enough quite yet.  Although, I do think it is quickly getting there.

For me, there is no rush.  I’ve been writing off and on for over twenty years.  My very first novel, which I started back in high school, had three years invested into it and never got even half way done.  For Under the Darkened Moon, I opened the file (started writing the story) on June 18th of last year.  It is now October, nearly November a year later.  I could have pushed this work out there six months ago, at least according to some opinions, but certainly not my own.   As one person in my review group said, “It’s already better than 95% of what is self-published on Amazon and other sites like that.”

I could possibly go ahead and make the leap to self-publishing it when this final round of editing is complete and the manuscript is compiled.  But that is not my goal either.  I want to shop it around.  I want to see if any literary agents/publishers will bite on it.  Why?  Because I want to know if my story is really, truly, good enough to catch the eye of someone with influence within the industry.  So I am still editing, and editing, and revising, and cutting, and reconfiguring.

I know a few authors who have managed to get publishing contracts.  All who did have told me that diligence and patience wins out in the end.  So I being as diligent and as patient as I can.

Look, I don’t care what anyone says, my story is done when I feel my story is done.  And, hopefully, it will be done after this last go through.  I am still editing my novel because I really want people to see that I have put effort into it.  I don’t want to throw something that has glaring faults to the wolves only to have it torn apart.  I want to create something that will stand out in a sea of mediocre, often times poor, novels (both traditionally and self published)  that clearly are rushed out before they are ready for prime time.  Basically, I care about my reputation.  Why start out by giving myself a bad one?  Why start out by having to climb a bigger mountain than I have to.

So, I say again, my novel will be done when my novel is done.


  1. Katie D.
    November 1, 2012 at 1:47 pm | #1

    I can really identify. I surpassed a year of editing in September. Like you, I am willing to put in the time to make my MS “really, truly good enough.” I’d be mortified if my work appeared with the typos, grammar mistakes and confusing POV switches in some of the self- and traditionally published books I’ve read. But it’s about more than that, as you stated. It’s about me and my reputation. A quote I heard recently resonated with me — “You never finish writing a book; you merely abandon it.” I’m hopeful that this is my last go-round, too, but not promising!

  2. Mathias
    November 4, 2012 at 9:46 am | #2

    Doing it a right as possible is the right way to do things. Thanks for reading Katie.

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