So I’m alive and well. Not that you would know it as I sit in my dark editing cave pouring over the Liberty Trilogy.
Thoughts on editing…
1: Be ruthless. If it doesn’t have to be there, why is it there? I always ask myself when I’m reading. If the sentence doesn’t serve a purpose or make the story better then it faces the chopping block.
2: Think like a reader. Give the reader information they want to know in creative ways. I love writing suspense, but some times I’m tempted to keep information for later reveals when it really won’t add to the story. I find that if I give some of those details earlier it helps the reader to better invest in the plot point.
3: Actually read. I have to force myself to read the words on the page after about the third time through. I already know the plot and I know the chapters, but if I will stop and read I often catch little things that are wrong. Because I know what it’s supposed to say I fill it in or fix it in my mind, but it needs to be right on the page too.
4: Take breaks. When the words and blurring and you’re not being able to improve take a creative break. Watch, listen, or read something to get your creativity flowing again.
5: Don’t hate. I fall into the ‘getting bored’ with my own work after a few times through. The jokes aren’t funny, the reveals seem cliché, and the characters one-dimensional. Try not to let the fact that you have lived the story for months or years cloud the experience. The reader will go on this journey once with you… it needs to be a great experience once, they would get bored if they read it 10 times too.
6: Remember why you wrote it. I write because I have stories to share. the ultimate goal isn’t to make a bestseller or to see my work on the screen one day. The goal is to write the stories I have in my mind, and to give the characters life. Even if I’m the only one that ever reads them it’s still something special, and a work or art and love.