Monday, September 13, 2010

Editing is Murder... and other tips

My writing partner and I recently cut 25 pages of SLAVERY BY ANOTHER NAME in order to meet contest requirements.  Daunting, to say the least.  But in the process, I learned I love editing.  I’ve always said, “Love is in the details”. 

I love writing, even the gritty nasty parts.

As I tweeted out my progress, writers started sharing their own tips.  Whenever I learn from others, I aim to spread the love.

Carrie Bailey of Peevish Penman graciously offered me the perfect venue for 
Editing is Murder, my latest in a recent string of editing and rewrite pieces. 

The previous two were for Tyler Weaver’s Multi-Hyphenate on what I learned at Stony Brook Southampton Screenwriters Conference, specifically, rewrites and handling feedback:


If you’re looking for other writing tips, you can find great information on Peevish Penman as well as the Scriptchat blog.

Don’t dread editing.  Embrace it.  You can't be a true writer without the courage to kill your own words.


6 comments:

  1. Amen. This was likely the most important lesson I learned in journalism school. While other students agonized over words and sentences that had so carefully crafted and arranged, I was learning to slice and dice without so much as an inkling of remorse.

    I keep reminding myself that we're not married to our words, that creating them is but one step along the way toward a kickin', polished end product. Developing my own editing style and process has been pivotal to my ability to make a living from this crazy gift.

    Thanks for the timely reminder!

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  2. Totally agree, Carmi. The best lesson of editing is learning to divorce yourself from the words. They're just words, not lovers. Boot 'em. As a freelance writer, it's helped me relate to the editors I work with and keeps me professional and open-minded to their suggestions.

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  3. I love editing! Writing, not so much... ;-)

    Hey Jeanne, I've loved learning about your Slavery By Another Name journey every step of the way. Thanks for sharing the highs and lows.

    There is a well-known writer whose name escapes me who said I'm a lousy writer but one hell of an editor. I love that quote. Really believe that the masterpiece emerges in the editing - chipping away at that block of stone - and this applies to mediums across the board.

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  4. That is indeed a fantastic quote, Karen! I'll have to steal it - haha. I didn't realize how much I loved editing until I pushed through it with such gusto on this project. In truth, it's partly because I'm so passionate about the material. Thanks again for the comment and quote. Great!

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  5. Great post. I'm always interested in how other writers "do their thing". The personal sets of rules we use to get our stories done.

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  6. One of the great benefits of having a network of writers is learning from each other. When I tweet out a writing problem or a new journey I'm on, there's always someone ready and willing to offer unique advice... if you're willing to listen.

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