Editing, or How I Learned To Love Hacking Apart My Baby….

3 Nov

*sniffle* While part of me is super excited about having finished not one, but two manuscripts, there is a small part of me, off in some dark, scary corner of my soul that is telling me I must now edit and take apart these works.

I would be kidding myself on a whole other dimension of crazy if I said these two works didn’t need editing or polishing. That’s not the case. It’s going back through, trudging through the crap parts (you know the crap parts….those passages where you felt like you sneezed into a tissue and then wiped it on the page), and trying to turn them around with new words, or even new ideas, in order to make the whole better than the sum of its parts.

There are parts of this manuscript that I just love. Parts that need to go. So, you have to cut off part of the baby and say to yourself, “Mommy really loves this arm. But it has to go so Mommy can give you a better arm, a stronger arm, an arm with which you will snag readers.”

I am reading everything I can about the editing process for tips and moral support. Someone once said, “Sometimes things fall apart so better things can come together.” I’d like to think of the editing process this way. I am not ripping out pages yelling, “I suck, I suck, I suck!” More like, “This will be better! I like this more!”

In short, when it comes to editing, you simply have to nut up and do it, otherwise the baby will bleed to death before you can fix it.


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