The Appreciated Bane: Editing (and Writing, and SipSwap Blog Adventure)

Well, December is here, and everything that means. In my case, a busy work period, a trip to England (and Wales) - and, of course, edits on the New Book.

And also Bryant Park, NYC. 

Ah, editing. It's often spoken about in the same way students refer to revision. It's something to be withstood, trudged through, and put up with, but with the grudging acceptance that it does at least help in the end.

I don't mean typos and spelling mistakes and obvious factual errors ("It was another English summer. She loved December...") - anyone with a grammar book and the Internet could catch those if they had to. No, editing in its best literary sense encompasses a whole range of things: tightening up of prose, naturalization of dialogue, making sure the plot is both evenly paced and (within the confines of the novel) makes sense, and everything in between and beyond. It works on a sentence by sentence basis, getting rid of clunk and clutter and repetition, and it works on a broader basis: does this book read well? Is it rushed? Why? Is it too slow? Do the characters grow / change / seem like real people by the end, at least?

You're in good company if editing is a bane that you appreciate:
"Read your own compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out." - Samuel Johnson
In fact, just check out this link to Quotations Book for plenty more where that came from.

All professions have their unpopular part. Actors learn their lines, teachers have to lesson plan, and I imagine even ninja have to spend some time putting in the grunt work required to be so damn awesome.

So yes, I'm editing, but I'm hopeful the book will be so much better for it. I'm also trying to flip my mental attitude to that I don't see editing as some sort of inverse, reverse writing, detached but important. I'm trying to see it as still the writing itself. Perhaps even more so than the writing-things-down part of writing. I'm sure there's a quotation I'm missing here: something about editing being where real writers make their money. If you know one, let me know.

In other news, the December Absolute Write blog chain is now ACTIVE, and it's The End Of The World. Huzzah. Watch this space for my own contribution.

And finally - my SipSwap mug arrived! You can read all about this blog adventure over on Kelsey Is Writing, read about the one I sent out over on Laura Hughes' Writing the Bad Things Out Of My Head, and see the one I received... well, here.

It's a beautiful, good sized mug. You'd be amazed how many are too small for a decent cup of tea. I am happy to say this one is up to standards. So, thank you, person who sent it!

And on that high note, I think we're done.



  1. Happy you got a great mug, Si! And as always, congrats on being awesome! (In this specific instance, I'm referring to starting revisions. :D)

    1. Ha, thank you. I was just reading your latest post on writers being awesome all together as I was writing this one. And also thanks for organizing the mug-fest. Right now mine has coffee in, but the coffee has rum in, so it's all pretty groovy.

  2. Didn't somebody once say that to be a good writer you have to be an average writer and an awesome editor (I may be paraphrasing but I think it's true!). I actually really like editing, but of course not as much as creating in the first place. When you do a first draft you can kid yourself it's a masterpiece!

  3. You never found out who your sip swap benefactor is? That is strange! It's a lovely mug. I hope someone steps forward and claims the credit!

    Stewie the Octopus Mug is my new best friend. I can't get over how cute he is when his little head pops above the surface of my coffee. And he survived his first dishwashing! I was worried his little legs were too delicate, but the box said dishwasher safe. It did not lie! :D

  4. A decent sized mug is KEY!(especially when the editing is NEVER ENDING! :)

  5. I hate mugs that are too small, I'm glad you won't have the problem now!

    Congrats on starting your revisions! Now the real fun begins

  6. Who sent you that mug?! Speak up, person!