There is no greater joy, no more profound exercise in existential ennui, than staring at almost 400 pages of story that are in need of editing. The journey…
Or, as the kids say, time suck!
But as any writer worth their salt will admit, every write needs a rewrite before it’s considered ready for public consumption. This is because there are always mistakes that are caught or cared about during editing. The process, naturally, starts with getting the story out of thy head before you go nuts. Editing is the external struggle to produce its finite form and goes beyond simple errors in spelling and grammar.
I don’t know that there’s any joy to it, and most writers are not fond of it even if they’re well aware of its importance. It is what it is in the utilitarian sense, but often there is that, which seemed important once-to the story-but is less so now, and there are those clever little moments within the story that you love that have no compelling purpose and, as the saying goes, must be killed.
There’s a book for you: great lines from great authors that were killed for the purposes of producing a tighter, more cogent book. That is the mission, the holy grail, the motivation for going over the same lines time and time again.
Of course, not everyone is enamored with the idea of tight and concise; some prefer rambling and long-winded, which is where self-publishing come in. But seriously folks, editing is simply part of the gig.
I bring this up because I am in the middle of the editing slog for the second book in the Monk Buttman series, and as with all things, I like to believe I’m learning something along the way.
Whether I actually have will soon become clear.
And if not? Well, I can edit that out.
©2019 David William Pearce