Is Anything Perfect?

devine

Recently I wrote about my never ending hate spiral of editing, you can read it here. This isn’t that post. This is more of a contemplation on editing. Do you think that editing helps your story? I don’t mean that in a literal sense, because everything that has ever been written needs editing, or should be edited. Even Stephen King submits manuscripts for editing.

But does the time spent editing equate to a better story? In my first novel, In the Between, I have just over 100,000 words. This needs to be cut down to no more than 80,000 but I can’t do it. I’m not objective enough to cut out the scenes that need to be cut, or erase dialogue that serves no purpose. Because for me as the writer, I think everything that I’ve left in is necessary. Considering this story was cut from 120,000 words, I just can’t cut anymore.

read-wrote

Perhaps I’m too verbose and conversational in my writing. The novel is written in the first person, and I tend to have internal character conversations that add richness to the story, but they could probably, maybe, if I was honest with myself be cut out. But I can’t

This book is with a friend of mine for editing, *cough* Clinton *cough* – he took an editing course once so he is totally professional –  perhaps he can find some way to cut out 15,000 – 20,000 words. Or not, just read it, buddy.

I suppose this is why people pay editors to do this sort of thing in a structural edit, because writers can’t be subjective enough to own the work and start slashing.

Is anyone’s writing ever perfect? Even after going through numerous rounds of the editing process. Probably not but it’s got to be better than it is now.

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18 thoughts on “Is Anything Perfect?

  1. This A relevant and interesting post Lisa… I have thought about this, especially lately as I’m finishing up six months with editor for 35,000 words.

    Editing can produces a different story – perhaps better for market but with less life than before the edges were smoothed and the limits tempered.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Lisa. Happy to have found your blog too. I can understand your dilemma – I am rambler myself. Editing is of course essential but then if the story demands the author should be given that space and length – anyhow all the very best and congratulations on having reached this far. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think it depends, at least for me. Sometimes I like to post something as is – like there’s no need to be perfect and also trust what comes out as my first intuition. Other times I can tell that it would help to go back to it for editing, that this will help my expression be clearer and more on the line of energy that I’d like. Does that make sense? 🙂
    Anyway, it’s nice to reconnect, Lisa! Hope you are doing great. ❤

    Like

  4. You hit on one of my pet peeves, Lisa — trying to squish a 100,000-word story into 80,000 words. What if the story needs 100,000 words to be beautifully told? I know that stories by genre and audience have word-count ranges, but there are always exceptions, popular exceptions (look at Harry Potter!). I think having an editor take a look is great, but be careful about cutting the beauty of the story for an arbitrary word-count. That’s my rant. Happy Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is too much to hope for I think. Five people have read it and no one yet has said to cut it, but I am just working off the word count for the genre. It’s incredibly frustrating! I’m truly sorry that you feel my pain. Happy thanksgiving!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. 15,000 – 20,000 words… Wow. That’s a crazy amount of words to chop out of a story. It’s like a whole half a story. :/

    Do you find yourself tempted to just nick out a word here and there in the hopes that it will add up without removing anything truly essential?

    Liked by 1 person

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