The Unbearable Rightness of Editing


Having just been up until two in the morning working on the developmental edit of Dance with Me, the last thing I want to do at this moment is write.

Wait. I’m a writer. I love to write.

I love it more than a car that starts on the first try and doesn’t smell like something feral has taken up residence in the AC. I love it more than Anthropologie sundresses and fat, oily, herb-flecked olives and all the things you can buy when you have a regular job that pays real money!

Much as I would like to write, however, my brain has been drained by the process some call editing, and some call revising, but I call waterboarding of the brain.

Apparently, we writers fall into two camps: Those who love editing and those who hate it.

You know which camp I’m in.

For me, writing that first draft is like those first heady days of a new romance, all about exploration and adventure and tender outpourings of the heart. It’s getting on a train just to see where it goes. It’s butterflies in your belly and waking up each morning wondering what fresh delight awaits.

Editing, on the other hand, is all about raking over old territory with a critical eye. It’s about finding problems you wish you could ignore and deliberating and debating until you find a solution. It’s riding a bicycle uphill into the wind. It’s eye-strain headaches and falling into bed at the end of the day completely exhausted.

Maybe a bit more like marriage.

(Joking, of course! Marriage is great 95% of the time. But that other five. Phew!)

Editing is important, of course. Necessary.

Can’t have characters wearing a t-shirt one moment and a sweater the next. Or pulling guns out of pockets they don’t have. Can’t have a plot point that’s too predictable, or alternatively, doesn’t allow suspension of disbelief. Can’t break in the middle of a passionate clinch to describe the sunset.

Still. The minute Microsoft comes up with a program that can find all the inconsistencies, gaps of logic, pacing issues, weak passages and FIX THEM, I am buying it.

In the meantime, I’m going to power down my laptop, stretch out on a lounge chair with a something cold, wet and possibly alcoholic, and stare into the middle distance.

Right after I edit this blog post.

5 thoughts on “The Unbearable Rightness of Editing

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