12.04.2013

To Edit is Divine...?

“To write is human, to edit is divine.”
 
Steven King, On Writing  
 
 


That's right, I'm STILL editing. Actually, no, I'm rewriting. There's a difference. Well, in my mind there is.
 
Editing, for me, is going through the manuscript to pretty it up, remove superfluous words/phrases, make sure plot lines connect. To check on consistency. Succinctness. Flow. Pace. All that fun stuff that makes the process divine.
 
But rewriting...
 
“Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.”  
 
  Steven King, On Writing
 

Not so divine.
 
I'm killing people off here! Removing their very existence from a world I so meticulously created. Three characters are gone. Poof! I know, I know... It had to be done. The story will be better for it. And not only am I killing my darlings, I am going through my manuscript word for word. Sentence for sentence. RE-WRITING.
 
I'm 2/3 finished (with the *first pass*) and I've cut over 5,000 words. 5,000 words that weren't adding much to the story other than bogging it down.
 
But I'm also learning. Building my craft. I've added so much with so little to the characters. To the setting. To the overall feel of the damn thing. The manuscript is beginning to come to life.
 
“Words create sentences; sentences create paragraphs; sometimes paragraphs quicken and begin to breathe.”  
 
Steven King, On Writing
 
And who knows, perhaps that's where the divinity of editing comes in...when paragraphs truly begin to breathe.
 
How do you attack editing? Do you find a difference in editing and rewriting?
 
 
*Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for starting IWSG - a monthly blog hop where writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!*
 
Want to join? Sign up HERE.
 
*Gif source: Tumblr
 


10 comments:

  1. Oh yeah, my rewriting is about to begin with this new MS. I feel you, let's kill them darlings! Have fun ;)

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  2. I'm afraid I tend to be the opposite - adding characters instead of taking them away LOL! Visiting from IWSG FB page :)
    Suzanne @ Suzannes Tribe
    x

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    1. Ha! I've done that too Suzanne :) Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I'm in the process of rewriting (I agree about the difference between the two, by the way) a short piece I'm trying to pull together on a deadline. The amount of change needed is almost overwhelming. I feel like I have a skeleton (barely) with no flesh. I. Can. Do. This.

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    1. I hear you Julie...overwhelming is a perfect way to put it. Good luck - we can both do it!!!!

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  4. There is definitely a difference in rewriting and editing. It's weird, but I love the rewriting process. I love to see that rough skeleton of a story idea flesh out and become a living thing. Like you I make several passes concentrating on different things. Hopefully I'll learn to combine passes as I grow and become a better writer.

    Good luck with the rewriting!

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    1. Oh boy, you'll have to teach me your ways Charity ;) I'm getting there. I think I'll love it when I'm finished.

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  5. Oh, yeah, definitely a difference between editing and rewriting. Good luck with the rewriting.

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