Thursday, February 22, 2007

Making it Better

“I was fascinated by the effects that could be achieved by editing. The cutting room became a magic workshop for me.” - Leni Riefenstahl

Yesterday, I decided to go ahead and enter the contest I'd been thinking about. I printed off the entry for one last go through, sat down at the breakfast bar, red pen in hand. I figured that it was pretty polished (after all, I'd been through it half a dozen times and THREE of my writing friends had), but it might need a few tweaks.

Huh. Guess it needs more than a few...

My daughter (a budding writer, herself) was watching, and we had this conversation:

DD: "Is that your writing?"

Me: "Yes."

DD: "Why do you change it after you write it?"

Me: "Because it can always be better."

DD: Looks at all the red marks. "Gee, you sure made a lot of mistakes."

Me: Defensive. "They aren't mistakes, I'm just making it better!"

I got the final galleys for my latest Wild Rose Press story, "Tickle Fights and Barbecues" yesterday morning. I checked it over and fought the urge to made a dozen changes. I did request two because of multiple word use (I used "because" THREE times in two paragraphs -- how did I or my editor not catch this?)

I'm half dreading the day when I have my first novel published, hold it in my hand, open in and think: OMG!!! Look at that gerund! I used "because" three times on that page! What a lame metaphor! That could have been written much tighter! What was I thinking????


Allie Boniface said...

I don't think the editing ever, ever stops. I've gone through novels that I've revised upwards of 10 times and still found things I wanted to change. I think at some point we just need to let go and move on to the next one (easier said than done, though!)

Judy said...

I'm with Allie... I think it's a never-ending job, if you let it be. How many books in print have we all gone through and found "flaws"... some striking!

Gay said...

I'd planned to print out and send my contest entry today. I guess I'll print out and proof it again instead. Gee, thanks for the paranoia, Maria...

Tori Lennox said...

I think it's a never-ending process, too. I know it is for me. :) I doubt that will change once I sell (thinking positively here...).