Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Neverending Red Pen

My red pen goes on, twirling, scribbling, crossing out. Are we ever finished with editing? Seems not.

There’s always something to be tweaked and scratched and altered and fixed, at least in my long fiction.

I’ve revamped and redecorated the prologue and first chapter for my novel Kings & Queens more times than I can even count: baseball intro—no not gripping, too kiddy—mock annihilation intro—scratch that too, for being a melodramatic cheat—back to baseball but with a completely different angle, darker tone and conflict. I suppose I should keep all my drafts, but I don’t. If I’m dissatisfied with something, why keep it around? It’s clutter to me. Some writers like to keep a record of how many versions they’ve had and changes they’ve made and they file them alphabetically with a color-coded graph and everything. Wow. I’m amazed at that level of organization. Skills I greatly lack. I'll definitely need to keep track of versions when I submit to agents, but for now, I just don't care.

I know where I started and can recall the big upheavals, but what I’m more interested in knowing is where I end up. I want the finished product to be excellent.

So again, for the umpteenth time, I’ve changed my prologue...a little bit. It’s always been short, but I hope it’s more gripping with it's new intro. Now I’ve got to go switch new for old on my various excerpts all over the web. I'll probably change it again. At some point I WILL let go of it. I promise.

Does editing drive you crazy? When does it ever stop?

~ Signing off and sending out cyber hugs.

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