|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 JohnsonIn 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.