Tuesday, May 25, 2010


All writers share the same dream - to be published. And though it seems impossible at times, we continue to strive for it with vigor and determination. But what many aspiring writers don't realize is that there's much more to writing than just putting together a great story, with interesting and realistic characters, and an engaging plot...it's a lot of seriously hard work. That work comes in various stages, one of the most important being the ability to edit.

Now, it's one thing to take others suggestions like adding description to a scene or developing a character more, but it's an entirely different thing when you come to the place where you to have to look at your work and slash it apart.

I just had to deal with this on Sunday. I was going through my ms, trying to polish it up before I start to make the rounds with my query. I came upon a section where the main character is going to the movies with her best friend and afterwards is attacked by Cerberus. It's a pivotal section of the story filled with lots of tension and excitement, but something wasn't quite right with it. After looking it over, I realized that the pacing was off. I spent the first four paragraphs of the chapter describing the main characters trip to downtown Houston, the theater district, and the movie she and her friend saw. While the section was beautifully written and I loved the pictures it brought to my mind, I couldn't ignore the fact that it didn't do anything for the story. It didn't move the plot forward. It didn't add anything necessary to story. It just wasn't needed. So, I cut it.

And though it was scary as hell to do, I felt good when it was done. When it comes down to it, being a writer is all about making the tough decisions when it comes to your work. The ability of someone to look at their story and see what isn't necessary is vital in the publishing industry. For me, the moment that I was able to look past my own ego to see what was best for the ms, that was the moment that I was closer to my goal of being a serious writer - and not someone who just dreams of being one.

1 comment:

  1. Good for you! Cutting is one the hardest parts. Don't go completely slash and burn, though. I know I get too overzealous sometimes and cut things that might not move the plot along but are necessary for character development. And congrats on starting a blog, too! I'll add you to my blogroll