It’s been a while. A long while, actually, since I’ve blogged. This hiatus came from a sharp bit of wisdom that really resonated with me in Neil Gaiman’s commencement speech to the University of the Arts several years ago. He mentioned considering a goal to be a mountain and asking yourself with each new task if it was carrying you towards or away from the mountain. As I worked through the first draft of a novel, my blog entries felt like they were diversions dragging me from the task at hand. So, I filed them away and told myself only after I’d reached my own personal mountain, that first draft, would I return.|
Now that a full one hundred and forty pages sit in front of me, each chapter carefully printed and labeled, it feels appropriate to blog in the face of the daunting editing process. This is my first round of edits for this novel, a second round will absolutely follow, and then I intend to submit to agents after a final polish. This all sounds so easy, but the reality is the process is exhausting.
Editing reminds me of visiting the grocery shopping with an economical and underwhelming list. The further you wade into the store, the more you realize you’ve forgotten to include everything your kitchen really needs and what started as milk, bread, and eggs now grows to dozens of details and new plot ideas that should have been included in the first run through. And with each change, the world shifts. I’m writing a children’s fantasy where there is a world being constructed, but even in a good old-fashioned literary novel, new details are earthquakes that cause seismic shifts in the fictional reality.
In order to keep myself vaguely sane and always moving towards my mountain, I’ve devised editing tips and tricks that might be of help as you tackle your own revisions whether they be for a short story, a novel, or anything in between.
Writing has always been an escape, a passion, and a friend. I look for other writers who feel the same.