Killing Your Children- Metaphorically Speaking

Awhile back, one of my friends noted that he was editing his book, and implied that he hated the process. It makes sense, in a way; in On Writing, Stephen King mentions that cutting out words from your story is akin in some way to killing your children. He goes on to mention that, whether you like it or not, it’s something you have to do to make your story the best it can be.

It probably says something about me that I actually like the process of revision and editing. It sounds strange, but I look forward to taking words out of a story, knowing that what’s left will be tighter and faster-paced as a result of it. To be fair, it probably also helps that I don’t have the attention span/dedication to write a full novel, choosing instead to write and submit short stories to various markets (I’m currently attempting to participate in the monthly version of Write 1 Sub 1). I like the stories I write, but I don’t spend enough time to be able to get emotionally attached to any of them, or the words within them, to the point that I struggle with cutting stuff most of the time.

How about you? If you’re a writer, or a musician, or some other creative profession, so you enjoy deletion as much as creation?



    • James on October 5, 2011 at 9:59 am

    With one book done and two more on the way, I’d say you’re best served by having a trusted editor clean up your work. If you’re self editing, edit the piece once you’ve forgotten about it for a while. Or try reading it out loud (or recording it with your own voice to hear how it flows).

    That’s awesome you’re writing by the way. let me know if you need any help getting contacts!

    • emptyeye on October 7, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Well thanks. I’ll make sure to ask you about some of those contacts if I ever cross into your circles. Although, since you primarily write outdoorsy non-fictions, and I write…um, short fiction stories, I don’t know how much it’ll necessarily help me out right now.

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