From Imagination To Publication

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Easier Said Than Done

I've been a social media hermit the past week. It's hard to juggle work, editing, home, AND the ever-expanding realm of social media.

That being said, no matter how long it's been, the internet is always here when I need it...ready with a blank page and a place to vent.

My last few posts have been written with confidence. I got some suggestions from ZOVA and some ideas from YA Highway and I thought, BRILLIANT! I know exactly what to do. I have a perfect plan to refine my novel and get it nice and squeaky clean for publishing. Then, I sat down to do it. All I had to do was follow the plan. Step one, take out redundant sentences. Step two, eliminate generalization of action and dialogue. Step three, add concrete details to internal monologues. Great plan.


Things weren't that clear. Deciding whether a sentence is truly redundant isn't easy. I've read the book so many times that I thought, well, maybe this is redundant. Of course I know what I mean from that first sentence...I wrote it, but how do I know if I should cut the second sentence? What if the reader needs it? What if I start cutting details that are important? WHAT IF I RUIN IT?! Identifying generalization is just as difficult. Certainly I can't write in every detail, accounting for every moment, every action. There has to be some generalization to move the story forward. So, what is necessary and what should I cut?

Sadly, this post may be a little disapointing for some of you, because I don't have the answers. I'm just trusting my gut and using my best judgment. I've decided to take it easy (not get red pen happy and start hacking). A conservative approach at least leaves room for my publisher to make cuts I didn't during line editing. The last thing I want to do is chop my book into bits when it is almost ready. Still, I think I am making smart choices.

Luckily there is something good coming out of this (aside from the obvious)...I am learning and growing as a writer. Nobody said this would be easy, but it sure is fun.

Here are a couple of links to blog posts that are helpful in terms of editing:

Molly The Magnificent - Post on Editing
Show or Tell: How Do You Know? | The Steve Laube Agency


Post a Comment