Rethinking the editing process

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Let me be honest, until four days ago, my fiction manuscript (Plan B) had remained partially edited and untouched for a little over a year.  *sigh*

There are a number of reasons for this but the most relevant is that I don’t like editing. 

I find editing to be finicky, annoying and a total buzz kill.  It’s a function of the left brain so it’s analytical, critical and has all those sticky rules (grammar, punctuation, writing technique etc).  Editing is like a drill Sergeant with highly polished boots and a pristine uniform who marches up, clicks its heels, calls my story to attention and expects to be saluted. *sniff*

The creative writing process on the other hand is the right brain’s playground.  It’s like a free flowing hippie, happily twirling barefoot in the meadow with a flower tucked behind its ear.  It doesn’t care about rules, limits or conforming. 

The disparity between these two functions is clear.

Back to the edit of Plan B.  When I opened the file on Saturday, I noticed that I’d stopped editing a point where the story becomes laboured and dull.  This section of the book needs to either be deleted or edited right down.   I think my drill Sergeant and my hippie have been at a standoff over this matter and I didn’t even realise. 

What to do?

I’ve pondering over the past few days and decided that I’m going to rename and reframe the process from editing which sounds cold and harsh to restyling which sounds soft and more forgiving.  I’m hoping that I can negotiate a restyle which removes the slower chapters (they’ve really got to go) but create fun new chapters so that I end up with the same word count.

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