Over the last few weeks I’ve been hard at work tormenting myself to death. Yes folks, it’s that time all writers learn to love and hate; the editing of a novel.
It’s a great feeling to see your words being crafted into something meaningful and entertaining. Once or twice I’ve found little passages or a sentence that made me go “fuck yeah” such was the beauty or power of the words in front of me.
Sadly however, no sweary word has been left un-muttered at the endless repetitions, unnecessary alliteration or stuff that is just plain stupid or unbelievable or just shit.
I mean, what the hell was I thinking of when I wrote some of that nonsense? Where did all the “that’s, then’s, which’s, who’s and and’s” come from? I certainly (Shit! Just used an adverb. That’ll need edited out) don’t remember writing them. And don’t get me started on contractions!
The fact I chose to write without dialogue tags only makes things harder as I have to craft ways of informing the reader who’s speaking.
Yes my novel is getting better and altogether tighter because of this vital and necessary editing. If I’m lucky enough to get any interest from a publisher or agent, I’m sure that I’ll be handed a massive batch of suggestions to tighten it further but until that day (if that day ever comes) then I’m concentrating on getting it as good as I possibly can.
This editing has now crept into my writing on every level. After the first round of edits, I wrote a couple of short stories and I could sense the first draft was technically tighter than (Fuck. Adverb and alliteration.) any previous first draft. Even stuff I write at work or Facebook now gets the same attention to detail when it doesn’t need it.
When this edit is complete I will be handing it over to my wife to proof read. Cue several yards of red ink on each page and more un-muttered swearing.
So peeps. Am I on the write (You see what I did there?) track or am I just driving myself insane? All comments welcome.
Future guest posts include
Tom Cain / David Thomas
Stephen Jay Schwartz