Sunday 20 November 2011

Adventures in editing

I had a strange experience yesterday. I had to write something!

I have been editing my book for so long that actually having to write something was like being wrenched out of a comfy rut. Editing is mostly a little change here, a little rearrangement there, but this time I had to rip out a couple of pages and then write something brand new.

I think its been over a year since I wrote two consecutive pages. It was a little scary, a little strange and kinda refreshing. It felt like the first day on a new job, a first date, being in an airport departure lounge and suddenly forgetting where you are going. It was just a little weird and a little exciting.

Now back to the editing.


I'd be interested to read other people's reflections on editing. Please, someone, tell me I'm not alone. :( -- (Not quite the emoticon I wanted, but it'll have to do).


  1. You're definitely not alone! I've had the same experience. It's really weird to write off the cuff. I'm used to being able to take my time and mull over story bumps, but with the word goal, I find myself having to write no matter what. It feels awkward and foreign--definitely what you said about first date/airport feeling. But chin up, as we go along and do the things that make us uncomfortable, we grow...even if I do feel like a wet noodle, allergic to tomato sauce(right, Gregory?). As Hal would say, "Suck it, self- doubt."

  2. Writing to a deadline / word count sure does make you think fast.

    I know how you feel Simon, I've been messing around with the cop story for so long, it's getting so that I'm getting a little confused. But with something brand new it definitely puts things in perspective.

  3. Simon-

    Fear not. I know exactly how you feel. With my Olive Thomas story (henceforth known as Ollie), I do still have to be creative once in awhile, but the editing has been brutal. I go thru periods where I write and write, then I go dry and edit for months, then write again.

    It's been especially difficult because this actress and her husband split their time between NY and Hollywood, working for different studios on different coasts. Then a contract would end, and they'd switch coasts. Or work on location somewhere else. I had to be ultra careful about where I put them in certain scenes because of technicalities like that. I'd get an entire couple of scenes written, read some background material that contradicted what I'd written, then either have to completely scrub the scene or fix the gigantic holes in it.

    Got to a point where when Al heard me yelling "Gaaahhh" from the bedroom, he'd ask "chronology?" and just know to bring me a beer.


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