Saturday, October 20, 2012

Writing and Editing

Writing isn't that hard; it's just stringing words along and throwing in the occasional punctuation mark so the reader can take a breath.  All you have to do to tell a story is come up with an idea, say something about it, and then get off the stage.  It's a conversation with a reader, a proposition or challenge, nothing more.

Editing, on the other hand is a bitch!  The real  business of writing begins when you have to take that stream of words you wrote and mold it into something that makes sense, that flows well, that is logically complete, evokes a mental image in the mind of the reader, and doesn't violate the dictates of  sensibility.

Editing is not nearly as clean and simple as the original scribbling. The editing path is full of traps for the unwary, of byways that lead nowhere, of vacuous potholes where entire plots may flounder, and vast mountains of facts that must be mastered.  Editing can make you wander far afield, leading you into a wilderness so inpenetrable that you must take a literary machete to hack away the untidy growths of false leads, bad facts, and poor dialogue.  During the editing process characters can  appear and disappear, personalities can merge or disjoin, scenes can change at a thought, and always, always the path to the end seems beyond reach.  Eventually the editing reaches a point where you realize that you must abandon the effort, call the story complete, and send it on its way to certain rejection...

... so you can begin the next.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading my blog!