Slice it up

12 07 2010

Yes, this is a kill-your-darling situation.

I re-read (for the nth time) Unexpected People, and, well, nothing like a serious consideration that I’d put this out there for me to detach myself from the piece.

If it’s going to live, it can’t be my darling anymore.

I think the basic set-up is okay, but jeez louise the dialog is too much. So slice and dice and chop and sand and I think it could be okay.

It’s funny that only now can I see a way to edit this. When I made initial inquiries to agents back in 2007, I knew it was flawed but thought that an editor could help me figure out how to fix it; I hung back, I think, because of this, not engaging my customary editorial ruthlessness. But now, now that this will all be on me, I’ve snapped out of it, and I’ve begun sharpening my knives.

It won’t be a masterpiece, regardless, but it could be better.

And so it will be.

Once again, stay tuned.



2 responses

13 07 2010

I read somewhere recently that the old days of the writer-editor relationship are dead. Too many writers, too competitive a market for the next Dan Brown schlock. The world has changed.

Maybe the new self-publishing boom can bring it back. How many genius editors are out there, how many writers, who can never get recognition because the NY publishing industry is so facked?

You cannot edit your own work when you’ve just completed it. I learned that more than 20 years ago. Six months for a short story, considerably longer for a novel, you read it with fresh eyes and go, wow, that bit was great. This bit was crap. I know how to fix that.

Or, I know how to tell this story better now.

Don’t you love writing? I was thinking on my way to work today about a conversation between two of my main characters, about god, and how that let me know so much about both characters, though this conversation will probably never make the final cut. Marvelous. I love these two women, and can’t wait to throw the end of the world at them!

13 07 2010

This is why I could never write a novel: I’m already pretty ruthless when it comes to even my blog posts (and still criticize myself when I hit the “post” button as they’re always too bloody long). I can’t imagine how long it would take me to write and edit a novel.

Good luck whipping your manuscript into shape!

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