Island Life, Word Birds & Process
It’s highly likely I’ve used the above heading before. (And I’ve definitely written about editing.) No matter – my blog my repetition. Apposite in any case. Editing involves digging out the repetition. And much more besides. I’m on the 84,670,943rd pass & the excess keeps on keeping on… Were it not for chocolate & wine I might well have gone quite mad.
My writing co-conspirator has her head down too. (For those of you who don’t know, Janey & I are are the sole members of the smallest writing group in Wales.) Since her hip op we’ve had to meet less often but we never stop comparing notes. (I think she’s on draft 62,897,504…)
I’m doing my best to stay serene. On the surface at least – drifting like a lily on a lake, looking as if I know exactly what I’m doing. Under the water, trust me, I’m kicking the mud.
My bête noire is a tendency to ramble. To embellish my stories with far too much exposition & description. My mentor & first editor calls it ‘the lovely’ & has, from the beginning of our collaboration, bid me be rid. She may no longer be my editor, believe me dear reader, as I edit Book 3 it’s like she’s in the room… Which is a good thing.
An old Facebook post from a very famous writer – who I’m not going to name in the interests of playing nicely – recently emerged. In it, she declared she was no longer going to allow her manuscripts to be edited. Quote: “I felt that I could not bring to perfection what I saw unless I did it alone.”
The thing went viral & of course, everyone has an opinion. Mine echoes what seems to be the popular view: Stop talking, famous writer! Shush now & be grateful! Being well & professionally edited is a privilege which we scorn at our peril. (And a best-selling author would surely have access to top-notch editorial advice.) There is a legion of writers out there who never get the opportunity.
And so forth. I’m off to unmuddy the waters. Please send chocolate.