Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Shock of Editing



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Writing a novel, for me, was shocking enough on its own. The original work held over 249,000 words... Shock!

Splitting the work (to make it attractive to an agent or publisher)into two distinct novels. Shocking!!

Now that I have two novels (one at 131,000, the other at 118,000 ) I’m almost numb with disbelief, dismay and... SHOCK!

It's the shock I have to deal with when editing. I am shocked by so many words that appear, (optionally) removable. My novel was already a fast-paced read, so editing more would make it greased lightning, right? Nope!

Same pace, just less ancillary content, fewer passive sentences and sentence fragments (like this one). :-)

To do this, I have been reading it aloud, which surprisingly has offered more insight than I would have thought...

My greatest concern is for the narrative voice, which can be harmed by taking too many words that, on the surface, seem removable or redundant, but are a part of the tenor of the book. My characters are written in a way that depends on a very defined narrator. The Narrative distance oscillates, from close to omniscient, which is hard to control when writing anything as lengthy as Devin Briar. ( by the way, the Devin Briar pages here are UN-edited)

On that note, if you are one many friends of mine on this blog, could you drop me a note when I misspell here. My editing superpowers are taxed enough on my manuscript, so I have been told I miss a few things here. Oops!