Edit, it’s too short a word to describe the long act…

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Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.  ~Anton Chekhov

some notes for those of us buried in the act of editing. I’ve heard there is an end but my guess it is by one of two means. 1 you get snavelled up by an agent or publisher and thus someone else begins to edit your work or 2 by some matter of technology or nature computers cease to exist and your manuscript has been destroyed (or some variation thereof).

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.  ~Mark Twain

And the worst part is that you will never satisfy everyone. What is perfect to you someone somewhere will find something wrong with.

Someone once gave me a cartoon of a thesauri with the quote ‘damn you twilight thesauri have feelings too’, it eluded to the fact that Stephany Myer had used too many varying words throughout her work for the cartooner and my friend, and probably others, tastes. Then i watched the commentary on the Eclipse DVD and heard Stephany Myer comment that her character had used a certain word too many times. Which lead me to this post.

I am partial to the same theory. A sentence with the same word in it two or three times don’t seem to flow right. I get frustrated with the way i write in the first person and thus use a lot of ‘I’s.

“Will you tell me my fault, frankly as to yourself, for i had rather wince, than die. Men do not call the surgeon to commend the bone but to set it, sir.” ~ Dickinson, Emily.

A writer is unfair to himself when he is unable to be hard on himself. ~ Marianne Moore

However it is not the act of being hard on oneself that is often the problem, but knowing what it is we writers are to be hard about.

So do i strive to cut repetitious words and make the story jump with vivid language and often times words i may never again need to use? I’m leaning towards yes, because even with the critiques Stephany Myer is not only well published but well represented and as i said no one can ever please everyone.

If anyone knows of any other editing tricks and secrets please do share.


A few words from the wise


Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn’t wait to get to work in the morning:  I wanted to know what I was going to say.  ~Sharon O’Brien

Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very;” your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.  ~Mark Twain

I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.  ~James Michener

The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction.  By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is you really want to say.  ~Mark Twain

The wastebasket is a writer’s best friend.  ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

That’s a ‘no’


Ford street got back to me yesterday, a lovely well formatted letter but ultimatly a ‘no’.

so where to now?

I worry that it is not so much the letter or the story that can be improved and therefore be accepted by another publisher down the line, but that it is the genre and theme itself that the publishers feel simply isn’t right for them.

Which means that rather than putting time and effort into another query search i don’t know if maybe i should just be starting a whole new story in a whole new genre … a rose by any other name may still smell as sweet but a novel with the wrong title doesn’t seem to get opportunity to reveal it’s sweet scent.

what to do… what to do?

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