Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Write Drunk. Edit Sober. (Hemingway)

Honestly, I think it should be the other way around. 

Courage is needed to edit. Great hunks of courage. You've flown through writing the 'Great American Novel' - or something at least a lot of fun - and then you have to put away all sense of the joy that was writing... and hunker down with a red pen and decimate what you've just done. It seems insane, to me. Worthy of a bottle of something!

But of course, the editing I'm doing now is on my first book ever. I've learned a lot since I wrote this book. Since I began editing it. The second book is not going to need near the editing this one does. I've got a 'handle' (sure) on POV, I've honed my characterization skills, and I'm definitely getting the hang of landscapes and such. So - hopefully, when I take the second book to my editor (this January), I will be pleasantly - NO - deliriously surprised when she says, 'Wow - great work. We've got hardly a thing to change.' 

I hope I'm not smoking something!


  1. LOL!! I submitted a book to a contest, last year, with great hopes. The judges pointed out my poor POV, which I'm doing better, but they also disliked a scene that I'm still struggling to cut because I finally realized they're right: It doesn't really add to the story or move it along. Though they are right, I still haven't actually cut it yet. Maybe, tomorrow. :-)

  2. I killed off a character and the editor had a fit. Putting him back made sense though, and I acquiesced. If one doesn't trust one's editor, one is in serious trouble.

    POV is such an odd thing. My favorite authors jumped all over the place, the nineteenth century ones, but I have discovered that it is no longer acceptable - or publishable. Drat!