Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Writing Wednesday- Editing, Editing, Editing

“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.” 

Dr. Seuss

**Spoiler Alert**
If you haven't read my book Rubato you might want to stop and jump into it before reading my comments about editing. Link to the whole book is below.

Editing is a daily occurrence in my writing life. Do I like it? Sometimes. It can be most helpful as events become clearer and characters more rounded. But, it can also become confusing as I add details which then cause me to alter and add details in other related chapters.

Here are some questions I ask myself as I edit.

1. What is this scene about? Why is it here? What is it contributing?

The scene I'm working on currently is the climax. Within this chapter I want to show that there is enough probable cause to arrest the suspect for murder. It takes place in an interrogation room which has very little visual appeal. How can I make the room seem interesting?

2. Are the characters telling the story or is the author?

 Definitely my characters are telling this story. This chapter is in the point of view of Detective Watts and has mostly dialog. I'm looking to insert more details about what he is feeling as he pushes for a confession.

3. Is there forward momentum?

My antagonist is being pressured. On one side he has his attorney holding him back from speaking and on the other side there are two detectives accusing him with facts that are very damning. I want to show that his fear is rising and his ability to remain calm is crumbling. 

4. Are my characters interesting enough to sustain the story?

My antagonist is a desperate man who has no moral compass. He justifies his actions as necessary to meet his end which is always self preservation. In opposition are two detectives who doggedly acquire the facts to make a clear picture of an event that is catastrophic to the victim. They wade through a constant sea of lies looking for a thread of motivation that might lead to a strong enough reason to kill. I find them interesting but there is the catch. Can I see them clearly enough to edit the superfluous and keep only what makes them alive to my reader?

More editing................


My novel Rubato

A story of a woman's longing for beauty and her struggle to keep the beautiful even when it didn't belong to her.

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