clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Editing, or Self-Dentistry

I have a body of stories that I've worked on over the last six months. It is time to start the serious edit process.

I hate editing. I have a horrible eye for detail in my own work. That's painfully obvious to anyone who reads my words here. Occasional verb tense. Frequent appositive. Dreadful hanging participles.

There is nothing for it but to clean up the mess.

I write "rough drafts." These are not first drafts but rather a dog-paddle attempt to tell a story and survive the effort. I'm swimming for the other side.

Then, the edit cycle and a solid "first draft." This effort is iced for at least a month. Then, with a near-innocent eye I return and try to correct some of the larger issues with the first draft. If I am successful, I have a second draft where the language can be tuned.

That's as far as I've been with a story for many years.

I'll go farther this time and actually hire an editor for this second draft. I'll take their edits to heart.

I'm ready to do the work necessary to move from garbage to a product someone might want to read. I've even conceived of a new long-form story that I have never before attempted. Many of my bits are reworked elements that I've messed with off and on for years. The piece which I have started sketching now is something new.

I know a couple of the characters but I've never finished their stories. I'll use them in different ways here.

I have to finish an interrogation (merely a torture scenes) this week and then work on editing a story from last July.

I'm anxious to have a couple of these rough works shaped into first drafts before I work out the outline of the long-form I have in my head.

It is exciting to have options.

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