It must be something in the water. You think about writing a blog post about editing and another two come along while you’re thinking about it! So here’s a hat tip to fellow FlashDogs Brian S Creek and Foy S Iver for getting there first (perhaps I should get an S too, it might improve my writing). Brian’s post tackles getting down to the first edit, complete with fear, sweat and tears, while Foy’s mid-process post offers hope and also, to me, indicates that you should feel the fear and do it anyway.
So where am I at? (That sentence needs an extensive edit but I shall plough on regardless). Well, the photo above shows the complete MS of the middle-grade novel I’ve been messing around with for some time now, printed out in its entirety for the very first time. It’s double sided, and currently it’s about 46,500 words or 240 double-spaced pages.
And the edit? I have to admit that, after making good progress, the first big edit stalled when I was around two-thirds of the way through. I suspect that this happened because I knew that I was approaching the scary bit. That’s the original story I wrote, around a year ago now, which grew too big for the competition I wanted to enter it into, and then grew even bigger every time I edited it, until I realised it had scope to be a book in its own right. The reason it’s scary is because the story which now surrounds it has, again, taken on a life of its own. So now I need to operate, and I’m apprehensive about the amount of gutting, extraction, stitching and general Frankensteinery that I may have to undertake.
However, I WILL grit my teeth and make the first incision into Chapter 25. As Brian says in his post, ‘if you want to get a finished book out in the world, then you need to edit’. Just watch out for blood and brains all over the place. And wish me luck.
If you’re wondering, the title of this post refers to the Art of Noise track ‘Close to the Edit’, as my beloved husband hums this every time I say I’m editing. Your bonus item is a link to the Art of Noise track and video on YouTube. I don’t see why I should be the only person who has this as an earworm!