Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Cutting through the Crap

is much harder than one would think when you're the writer. Words that I savored like hot caramel sauce when first placed upon the page, still have a cool appeal on the second go around. It's like editing with a demitasse spoon, when what is needed is a backhoe. I've found it can become very tedious.

One would think I could let go of all the extra verbiage, slim this book down to a sleek, bestseller model, but no. It's as hard as dieting. I can be good for a short while. Then, bam, I have to add a few luscious morsels that have popped in my head. It's like eating junk food. Irresistible and deadly.

Okay, I have to keep visualizing these beautiful words as not good for me. Sigh. When will fat be back in? Getting rid of the crap is harder than it looks.

7 comments:

Linda said...

Ah yes... the revision process. it's hard to switch gears when the first draft produces a giddy thrill when the word count escalates. Believe me, though - you get that same goosebumpy feeling when the word count plummets after a good edit session.

Fat IS good - in the right places. You'll find those curves and drive a Jag right over them! Peace, Linda

J. M. Strother said...

I have the opposite problem. My novels tend to be pretty darned short, but the worst thing I could do would be to add filler. Maybe we need to do a mind meld and split the difference?

Good luck on your edits. It will all turn out fine in the end, I'm sure.
~jon

marye.ulrich said...

You are right. Editing is as hard as dieting.

Hey, just found out we are the same age.

I like your blog Deborah. Clean and thoughtful. Your bio comment about "humble" got to me.
Mary

DeborahB said...

Linda, John, Mary,
Nice to know there are fellow sufferers out there. :) John, You can have my fat anytime! Mary, we will have to throw a cyber-B-day party! Linda, ah, all those beautiful words, gone, sigh.
Deborah

Kevin Fenton said...

I have found that time helps. If I can do so without procrastinating, just leaving something alone for a while will help me see what isn't need. I also keep replanting files for sentences and paragraphs I love but that don't work in the piece I'm working on. That way, I might use them somewhere else. Still, I feel your pain.

Richard W Scott said...

For me, no part of writing is particularly easy, but I must agree, the editing, the winnowing, is the most difficult. Would I have put the words there in the first place if I didn't feel they belonged?

This isn't to say I don't spend more time editing than I do writing--grumble--but who else can you trust, really, to rework, to redraw, to redo the work? Only ourselves. Otherwise we lose our novels.

DeborahB said...

Kevin, Replanting-I like that.
Richard, Trust, yes, we must trust ourselves, to write and to be tough on the rewrite. :)
Deborah