My first manuscript if finally complete. And the act of a full edit has come along with a few lessons in editing. No amount of reading and studying can prepare you for the utter agony of chopping well loved, hard-won sentences, paragraphs and Yes! whole chapters…
Some writers find the Dreaded Chop incomparably painful. And some don’t. And as I cringed and hit Enter to delete my Chapter, I expected a flood of grief at seeing those words gurgling and swirling down the edit-toilet. Thousands of words gone in the tap of a plastic button. But I must be stronger than I thought.
Or perhaps I have forgotten the excruciating pain/delight of churning out the words and meeting my writing targets. Perhaps I have forgotten – culling whole chapters was fairly painless. But its a necessary thing.
Like unconsciously writing back story which you will have to edit out at a later date. It fills in the blanks, helps to keep the momentum going, like training wheels. Until you gains the strength and courage to speed off without it. That is how I felt liberated.
Removal of unneccessary, unwanted words, paragraphs and chapters is absolutely a necessary evil. But it’s how you approach the matter that really matter. As a writer one must be capable of treating ones work as a sales item. It is your work of art but unless you are that emotional artist who works only for your own pleasure, you need to identify the needs of your market. And pander to those needs.
Perfecting your product is the key and if perfection turns out to be a painful process then so be it. Chin up, tummy in, soldier on.
So whats painful when you are editing? Each writer has their own pet hates… Whats’s yours?