Brief Thoughts About #Editing
Vintage Illustration, Unknown Artist
As a writer of contemporary fantasy, I rely heavily on an audience who is more than willing to step away from the real world and dip their toes into my pool of magic. Readers are encouraged to enter a novel and move around within the pages, and it is my job to make sure that happens.
But, how? Well… the story needs to follow an arc, the plot must be solid, the characters; likable, and twists happen at all the right places to keep readers guessing and intrigued.
It seems simple enough.
But if I’m being honest, that’s not how any of my stories begin. Really. My first draft is often a complete mess. The journey to final draft can be long and meandering and just when you think you’ve rounded the last bend, there’s like twenty more bends to round.
The road from draft to final is paved with edits, and though it can be harrowing at times, editing is where the true magic lies. To be clear, it’s not the kind of magic that you can find while reading my books, but actual, real-life magic 😉
Editing can take something good and turn it into something great. It’s the difference between eating a store bought pie from a fancy grocer and a homemade organic pie, baked with love by a troupe of grandmothers that have perfected the recipes of their ancestors and combined them into one phenomenal dessert. Basically, whatever it is, concise editing just makes it better.
It turns story-telling into story-showing.
As a writer, I’ve been coached on techniques on how to improve my craft through the editing process. And, more recently, I’ve been gaining more insight into how one would properly edit a manuscript as an editorial intern for a small press. Reading others’ work has been, by far, the best way to learn about what makes a good novel into a fantastic one.
Next time, I’ll go into more depth on some of the tips I’ve picked up along the way to make my writing stronger and give examples of various editing techniques. You’ll be amazed at what simple change here and there can make to a manuscript.
Editing is true-life magic, the real stuff. With amazing teachers and mentors, I am on my way to becoming a more powerful, real-life word wizard and creating even more magic in my books.