Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Editing a novel

My dad is a writer. Literary fiction mostly. He's a smart man, and when it comes to writing, he knows what he's doing.

He told me once that I can never fall in love with my own words. He said that I need to look at my work critically and be prepared to cull chapters ruthlessly.

May I just say that I've chopped an entire chapter.

If I got rid of it because I thought the entire thing was stupid, that either means I'm not in love with my words or that the chapter was so appallingly bad that I should consider turfing the entire thing before I embarrass myself publicly.

Unfortunately, I can confidently state that the chapter was so shit (watch your language Miss A!) that I couldn't even pretend that it could be fixed. It's a good thing I'm so stubborn.

The Victorian Writers’ Centre does manuscript assessments for $570. I could tweak this silly thing forever so I wonder how people make the 'finished' call. When is it going to be good enough that I can send it without feeling like I'm wasting my money? Why is it that the two people I know who are capable of editing properly are my darn parents? I do know a lovely woman who works in editing, but I know heaps of people who think they can edit but are only capable of twisting a story to fit their own style. I think I'll just spend the money and if it comes back in tatters I'll just suck it up and go on holiday.

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