Wednesday, June 9, 2010

To Edit or not to Edit

Hello to All! I apologize for being inconsistent with my blog posts lately. I've been up to my eyeballs in edits. I'm trying to get my latest work in progress Don't Play With Fire ready for a huge conference I'm attending in July. I've been making major changes to the plot. I think I have it all figured out now. The only thing left is the fine tuning which is easier said than done. All my writer friends know about that!

So, I got to thinking - What the heck am I going to write about on the blog? Might as well talk about the importance of editing. I mean, we could talk about the NJEA again or bad parenting (I could go on about that forever) or children who don't know how to play nicely, (wait a sec, that goes under the bad parenting column!) But since editing is on my mind it might as well be on yours too.

How often do you edit your work? You don't have to be writing novels to do editing. You could be writing notes to your children's teachers. Everything needs to be rewritten at least once.

In the day and age of emails and texts do you even bother to look over what you've put down? I bet a lot of you don't. I edit everything now. I even edit television commercials and other people's conversations! Scary, I know. But I can't help it.

You may be saying, "Stacey, I'm a great writer. I don't need to edit. It's you who suck." And my response to that is (after I stick my tongue out at you) "Stephen King you ain't!" And even he edits!

So, where am I going with all this? Good question. When writing it's important to slow down and spend some time with it. Think of editing like hanging out with a good friend. You want the time to last. After you've written something you should put it down and walk away from it. The longer time you can put between you and the piece the better. You'll come back with fresher eyes and you'll see things you've missed.

You may not have made your point as clearly as you would've liked. You might have mispelled a few words. And please, for the love of Pete do not rely on spell check! Give your piece to someone else to read. They will bring a different perspective to what you've written.

If you're doing creative writing learn your craft. There are tons of books out there to help you. Or attend writing workshops about character, plot, conflict. Read your favorite authors and see what they've done then go back and reread your work.

Because of emails and texts I think the art of writing (and it is an art) is becoming a thing of the past. Many can't even put a complete sentence together and it's sad. Call me old fashioned, but I think everyone should take pride in the words they put down whether on paper or screen. Remember the old adage: It's not what you say, but how you say it? If you can't write well then you sound plain old dumb.

Talk to you later...

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