When you can’t see the wood for the trees

I am editing. Argh!

I’m deep in the thicket, with 100k words between me and the timber of my finished novel, and every one of them has to be tested to earn its place in the manuscript.

Do my characters have, well, character? Is the plot believable? Am I consistent with point of view? Have my scenes got structure and motivation. Shit…am I actually writing scenes at all?

If you thought that writing a novel was hard, try a substantive edit. I believe I could knock off 20k words in the time it takes to edit a paragraph (10k of those words will be cut later of course). I’m learning on the job, and I figure I always will be. There may be writers out there who find it a piece of cake (cliché) easy, and wield their cutting pen with stern, orderly (adjective+adverb) precision. Who get that perfect story arc and place their reactions/dilemmas with pin-point (you work it out) accuracy within it.

I’m not one of them (she sobbed, wept, cried, sighed SAID!). This is damn hard work, and right now I really can’t see the wood for the trees (yet another cliché slipped in there).

dialogue tagShow don't tellDogs point of view

But it’s also exciting. I’m writing, I’m learning, and learning is good isn’t it?

I’m off to find the path through this forest now.

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