Note: Next Tuesday (6/26), I will be putting up the first guest post ever on my blog! I'm pretty excited about it -- I've known fellow writer DL Hammons (check out his awesome blog: Cruising Altitude 2.0 ) for several years and he has graciously put together something that I know you'll find interesting and enlightening.
Today I wanted to share some thoughts about what I've been spending my writing time on recently. This week, I've either done no writing or quite a bit of it, depending on how you define it:
I've been editing.
I've written no new stories, and my overall word-count for the week has actually been negative since I've pared more than I've padded. But editing also means I've written many new words and inserted them into existing stories.
So have I been writing or not?
To me, editing is a vital and significant part of my writing process, so I categorize it as "writing". Maybe if you can create perfectly structured stories on the fly, with polished and pristine prose spewing out of you in a magical stream of consciousness, then you don't need to edit, and you might consider it non-writing. I won't argue with you if this describes your writing, but I do envy you.
Because I'm nowhere near that. I absolutely MUST edit.
And I realized I've developed a definite love-hate relationship with it. I love the results of editing -- my stories are certainly improved after some serious and dedicated red-lining and revising. But I also hate it.
Because it's tedious and frustrating at times -- it's so easy for me to get bogged down in petty internal wording debates.
"Delvan lifted his baster and fired." No. How about, "Lifting his blaster, Delvan fired." Um, no. Maybe just "Delvan fired his blaster" works better? Or "The Blaster was fired by Delvan?" No! What am I thinking?!? Passive never works, especially in a fight scene! Arrrgggh! Um, wait... Why was Delvan firing his blaster again?
At times like this, editing can be excruciating. Not because I'm so attached to my words that I don't want to change them. No, I have no problem killing my darlings.
My problem is that I'm too prone to kill them over and over and over. I'll kill them, revive them, kill them again, bury them and move on, and then later come back to dig up the corpses just so I can kill them once more.
So what about you? How does editing work best for you? Any editing tips you want to pass on to this serial word killer?