Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Editing Process--

(subtitle: I NEED ONE!)

There is a difference between editing your own work and editing the work of others. Editing the work of other is a million times easier.

When the story is being filtered through you, when the words spitting out onto the page (or screen) are yours—you rarely see mistakes or missing information. All of that information is in your brain as you read along.

This being said (was that an excuse?) I am embarrassed looking back at the “original” drafts I submitted to classes to read. I am going to stop doing that—BUT it is amazing to see how much better version 25 is compared to version 10.

I am thinking about a story I wrote in April. It is now July and three months (only three months? or is that four?) have made it fantastic.

When do I stop? (Alternate title to post?)

I have left the story alone for weeks; I pick it up and feel the need to edit like a maniac. Maybe “maniac” is a strong word.

This morning, I was looking for adverbs and unnecessary words. I was looking at ways to make it tighter, stronger. I was looking to remove a sentence here or there.

Sometimes I wonder if this is why I haven't written anything of late. Okay, I have written something this month (I was looking over and editing it last night)--actually I wrote it LAST month!

How many times can I let friends read and reread and read the same story again before they stop being my friend?

Is this why writers work in "circles" or is this why writers are notorious drinkers? (Alternate title #2: A Drink--)

My vision is blurry, a sure sign I need to stop(period NOT question mark).

~~J

1 comment:

allerson said...

definitely easier to edit the work of others. And more fun. The one thing I hate about writing (or I should say one of the thingS I hate most) is having the story inside my head, complete and wonderful, and then having to get it onto paper that same way. Never works for me.

Most things I have read recommend waiting a loooong time before editing. One project said to write a short story a week for ten weeks. Write one, put it away, write another, put it away, etc. After you write the 10th, pull out your first one and you should be ready to edit it with fresh eyes.

I submitted a story in all workshop that I had originally drafted in May. It really helped to wait that long. Now, though... I just can't push myself to edit anything because it all sucks, and I don't want to read shitty stuff. Haha.

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