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.


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.

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.

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.

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. :)