Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Joys of Editing

Substitute "damn" every time you're inclined to write "very;" your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain

I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter. ~James Michener

Proofread carefully to see if you any words out. ~Author Unknown

I really don't like to edit. The First Draft is like that initial rush you feel when you start dating someone... especially someone who might be The One. Everything is exciting and good and fun.

And then, the second draft begins. Suddenly you notice he burps after he eats or scratches himself in public. Maybe he leaves his clothes laying all over the house and snores.

What do you do? Do you ditch him and look for someone new? Or do you try to work things out?

As I've mentioned, I'm editing "Return to Stiller Creek" and, though I know what needs to be done, it's pretty major (adding an entirely new character who must be layered in through the book AND changing the antagonist entirely, which also means changing the OLD antagonist to someone who didn't do it) and I'm not really enjoying myself.

I lost my internet connection for a while yesterday and decided to go work in the garden. I still hadn't moved deer-resistant plants to the veggie garden, so opted to do that (why I decided to do it at 3 pm in 90 degree weather, I have no idea). And, as I dug up plants from one area, pulled the weeds that surrounded them and then replanted them in another better place, I realized that this is what editing is. Pulling the weeds and moving things around until they work better. Sometimes it means planting new seeds or getting new plants altogether and working them into the existing garden.

In an odd sort of way, it made me feel better about what I'm doing. So, when I lost my internet again this morning for thirty minutes or so (and WHAT is up with my internet??) I wrote two new scenes for the book AND introduced the new character in an existing scene.

My "Stiller Creek" garden is beginning to grow and look healthier already.

What about those of you who are writers? Love editing? Hate it? Why?


At some point between 4:30 a.m. (when I got up) and 5 a.m. our lone monarch pupa (Lenape) became a lone monarch butterfly. She's just lovely. Perfect. Has all her parts. She's hanging from what's left of her pupa and letting her wings harden. She should be ready to release once the sun is well up. At least ONE of our pillars in Pillar Place: Monarch looks to have a happy ending. I'll have pictures later -- don't want to freak her out yet while her wings are still soft.

We've looked at all the milkweed around here and none of it has any more monarch pillars that we can find. We did find Tussock Moth babies (so cute and fuzzy), but no monarchs. Very sad.



Dru said...

I liked the analogy of gardening and editing and glad that your story is progressing the way you want. Good luck with your revisions.

I can't wait to see your latest Monarch butterfly.

Do you think it's the weird weather we've been having that has an effect on finding less milkweed this season?

Have a good Tuesday.

Diane Craver said...

I'm with you. I'm thrilled when I start my new story, but it gets tiresome to go over it again for editing. And I wonder if I was delusional when I first wrote it when I actually thought it was good. LOL

Sorry about your internet but sounds like you got a lot done

MJFredrick said...

I'd like editing a lot more if I didn't have to do so much of it all the time! I'm glad Stiller Creek is coming along. I want to read it!

MomJane said...

So happy about your one Monarch. I wonder what happened to them this year. There used to be so many we couldn't keep them all.

Wish my garden was doing as well as yours.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the revisions. Yay on the lone monarch!

Jennifer Shirk said...

I LOVE editing. I know. I'm a strange one. But it's true. I could rearrange words, re-read paragraphs, and add sentences for hours. :)
It's like making soup for me. Once I get the basic broth, I start throwing in all kinds of stuff to make it tastier. LOL!

Brandy said...

I like your analogy. *G* I makes a lot of sense. Good news on the Monarch, YAY! I hope you have a productive and good day!

Melissa McClone said...

I love editing!!!!

Allie Boniface said...

Nope, don't like it. Although it never turns out as bad as I think it will, I still dread it (and thus avoid doing it)