I will be the first to admit that the pursuit to perfection is detrimental and arbitrary at best. That being said, there is a need for polish in one’s work. I am a fan of looking over the raw unedited pieces from other writers, hence is the reason I follow a lot of writer’s and artist’s blogs. However, publishing these things aren’t necessarily a positive thing. So how does one polish their work? This is actually something that I’m still working on. But these are the things that I’m doing or have done in my work to help with the finishing touches.
I personally feel that it’s difficult to succeed at something on the first try. I feel that it’s the same when it comes to polishing one’s work. This is something that I’ve been dealing with. Had I had published my novel after the first edit, the feedback would have been abysmal. I can better explain this in a short story that I wrote for class. By the end of the semester, I had edited it four times on my own and twice with my professor and classmates. The time that I took to polish this short story was a necessity. Looking between the original work and the final product, it’s more than obvious which one was better. These edits are necessary in polishing a work that you can be happy with. At least, that’s the case for me anyway.
For me, sometimes it takes a team effort to get a final product that I like. As stated above, two of my edits were made with the help of my professor and classmates. Getting an outside opinion helped me see some of the mistakes that I made. An example was how I used to have trouble with changing tense, often times without provocation. This odd habit was something that I often didn’t really pay attention to in my writing. However, it was something that was jarring to the audience. With this outside help, I was able to fix and reduce this habit.
These are the two things that have helped me the most in polishing my works. I hope this helps!