Editing & Angst: Tactics for Triumphing over Tough Choices

There’s some contention about who said it (Da Vinci? Picasso? E. M. Forster? Paul Valery?), but whoever voiced it, the thought’s a salient one:

“A work of art is never finished. It is merely abandoned.”

For novelists, this means–after much hard work–finally making the choice to unclench your fingers and drop that red pen. At some point, you have to kick that baby bird out of the nest and let it fly or fall as it will.

Alas pour moi, that point of abandonment is not now. Every time I try to nudge one particular novel out of my drafting/editing nest, I find it chirping obnoxiously, squawking that it’s not quite ready.

And so I find myself flourishing that vermillion ink yet again, this time to do a massive, content-oriented edit aimed at culling thousands of words.

Now I may grumble and groan and gnash my teeth–just ask my long-suffering husband–but I’m also invigorated by it. Because who doesn’t want to make her book the best it can be?

That doesn’t mean the project isn’t daunting. Yet as I read through my novel, I’m finding two images to be helpful guides as I decide what to keep and what to cull. For my fellow writer/editors, I thought I’d share: Continue reading “Editing & Angst: Tactics for Triumphing over Tough Choices”

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Work, Woe, & This Thing We Call Writing

Satellite TV being rather spottily available in China, I got stuck with Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods as the best of my limited options for entertainment during my Monday exercise session. I mean no disrespect to Bizarre Foods; it’s a perfectly good show. But on general principle, while I’m running I try to avoid watching shows starring food; I’m already physically miserable (sweaty, tired, etc.) without being reminded of how hungry I am. That’s a self-torture I just don’t need in my life–especially since I’m not the biggest fan of running as it is (hence my need for distraction via visual stimulation).

But my limited viewing options wound up being a happy accident. Continue reading “Work, Woe, & This Thing We Call Writing”