Hacking & Cutting

I’m starting to think that editing your own work isn’t all I thought it was cracked up to be.  Now, for the record, I do not have a novel that is ready for publishing, editing, or even the bright light of day.  First off, I need to actually have a novel.  So that’s my disclosure.

I follow three serious writer’s blogs.  Albert Berg’s Unsanity Files, The Hack Novelist , and Isabella Louise Anderson.  All have either published a book, or are very seriously going in that direction.  So all have edited.

This ought to do the trick for hacking...

I suppose if your word count is over the requirements, that makes sense.  But how do you decide what to keep and wat to discard?  I suppose it all depends on the writer.  Each will know what they can and can’t part with.  Me, I can’t part with scenery descriptions.  After years of reading Emilie Loring and  Zane Grey, I have descriptions ingrained in my head. I also have a very hard time cutting dialogue.  Maybe because I don’t feel that I am very good at it, so parting with it is hard.

An adult story I’m working on, the one with two editors, and you can read an excerpt here, has been good for me to see how slightly more professional editing is done. I’ve had to give up things I don’t want to, though not large amounts.  Resigning myself to the fact that not everyone is as interested in the couple of sentences on the heroin’s and hero’s eyes. (though I was told by one fo the editors, T. That I was in good company with romance authors with all the eye descriptions.  Both my editors are guys, so my style has become a little less girly, and a little bit better. Hopefully)

So most of the editing has been minor.  My word count hasn’t dropped that much. I can’t imagine chopping out, say, 3000 words.  I hope I never have to! Of course, I need to actually finish a novel first…

But how do you know what to cut out?  And how do you edit enough out so that you are not rambling? Because, if you wrote it like that, how do you know you are rambling if you thought it was fine to begin with?

So, to hack and cut, is the question.

Writing On

~K.L.B.

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