Recently, my friend Lee Pletzers asked me to write an article about writing. At the time, I was in the midst of my darkness and thought that it was rather amusing (in a dark sort of way). Writing, what writing?
But I wondered if perhaps I needed to do this to get out of my funk. I started writing about what I thought writing was about, why I wrote, but that didn’t seem right. I have written about it so many times that I had to wonder whether perhaps that was getting old. I checked out his site, and several other writers had written the same thing. I wanted to be different.
Then I struck on editing. Something that I had been doing when my laptop crashed and my world came crumbling down. I wrote an article, and was happy with it. I sat on it for a couple of weeks, then realised I had a deadline. So I got back onto my thinking chair and came up with the Seven Deadly Sins of Editing. You can read it over on Lee’s site.
Then I felt like a bit of a fraud. I have only had one short story published. And here I was telling people how to edit their stories.
My new laptop arrived while I was away, but my neighbour (who is a wonderful soul), collected it from the delivery guy (saving me another trip into town) and it was here when I arrived home. I wasted no time in getting my favourite writing programs onto it, and after a couple of days of navigating Windows 7 (compared with XP on my work computer), I opened up the first chapter on my Gothic Novel, saved it as chapter one, then went through and highlighted, just as I suggested in my article. I had a colourful page when I was finished, but it actually worked. By the time I had finished editing the first page, 50 highlighted words had been reduced to two. What a coup for me!
So now, I am not a fraud, I am currently working my way through chapter 1, editing it according to my Deadly Sins, and I feel like I am accomplishing something once more. I feel more settled in my editing, and actually feel like I am making a difference with my story. Just getting rid of certain, unnecessary words, makes the story seem so much different. Why couldn’t I see that before? Perhaps I had, but I needed this opportunity to really understand it.
So thanks Lee for the opportunity of writing an article for your website, for making me open my eyes and see the error of my ways.