Friday, August 2, 2013


I used to do word count count posts, but have not been systematizing reports on my progress in the most recent edit.  For one, this is a far less profound revision - and, for two, while my productivity in a lot of areas has been up, I've fallen away from the social networking habit of keeping myself honest by telling anyone where I stand.  Tweeting the occasional #AmEditing brag is a useful option, but putting up a permanent post (even if on a very old-fashioned blog) is one of those indicators (and motivators) of progress you "feel" more substantially.

So I've completed about twenty percent of the current round of edits.  There are two items to revisit - the first is a question about "is this bit necessary?"  (There is, of course, the instinct that having to ask answers the question "no", but for one thing I have no readers to request objective feedback from right now, and for two, the resistance to deletion is strong enough I don't distrust it yet.  As willing as I am to kill my darlings, having doubts about doing so is a reasonable informant against doing so without feedback.)  The other backtrack I'll need to make is a sense that one character needs punching up.  In the previous edit, his earliest presence was drained of a bit of blood, so I need to make him more obtrusive and important.  It doesn't require lots of new scenes, a return of shed bulk - but some judicious description and exposition will contextualize how vital he is to a story in which I reduced him a hair more than I should have.

The work, pretty generally, has a very good weight to it now as I read it, and increasing experience in this process is great education.  Many authors dislike, or at least have a hard time, with editing and revision, but my main issue with it is the aforementioned absence of readers and canny, objective feedback.  One part of my education is the role readers play, and the loss of mine is pretty painful.

Oh, for an agent who'd shake me by the shoulders and show me where and how to edit.  (Yes, I know - selfish dreamer.  I'm allowed that sort of dangerously stupid freedom ... for the moment.)

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