Rambling about Writing and Editing

Howdy folks. I’m back.

Not much really to talk about here. The book is still being worked on, and the co-author has written a bit more. I went through the changes, and didn’t find anything really to fix, so there’s that.

Hrm. I have a problem. I don’t feel like I have much to say here on the blog. I suppose I could talk about the books I’ve read or am reading, or even the random shows I am watching, but is that important? That’s the thing, nothing I’m doing seems important enough to talk about. I’m proud that I’m reading so much, as I’ve mentioned before, it is said that you have to read to write. And the things I watch also influence the way I write, but is it important that I talk about that?

You, theoretical person who reads this blog to learn about my writing process, does it matter what media I’m consuming? You certainly have your own tastes, and those will be your influences. But do mine matter to you? Probably not, unless your preferences align with my own and you are on the hunt for entertainment that I like.

Perhaps I’m feeling this way because it’s been nearly a year since the editing(finalizing the draft) has been going on. It’s an extremely important process, and can mean the difference between a good idea that is lost in poor writing, and a good idea that is actually entertaining to read. However it’s extremely different from writing.

Making that first draft, that creative process, is unlike most anything else. It’s not about being correct, or even making sense, that comes later. It’s about looking at all the crazy ideas you have, like unshaped clay, and making a rough shape out of them. Getting all the right pieces together, even if they are in the wrong place, and just trying to tell a story with those ideas.

Editing is about putting all those ideas in the right place. It’s about smoothing out those rough edges, and correcting anything you’ve not shaped correctly. Chiseling away at the bloated mass that you’ve thrown down, until the story is the only thing left, not those random words you may have put down just to keep your word count going for the day. I’ve a bad habit of that, and find excess words in the most random places. This is why I will always say write way beyond what you want your final word count to be, you’ll be pulling out more words than you realize.

Remember, everything you write will have to serve the narrative. It just doesn’t have to be for the story itself, and can be about character development or world building, but there are things that don’t belong. You’ll find those when you edit though, so don’t worry too much about them at first. Let the words flow, and when you put enough together you’ll be able to make something out of it later, but you might find only a short story where you were trying to write a novel if you don’t rein it in a little.

One secret of editing your story is to look at each scene separately. If you were to take it out, would it change the story you’re trying to tell? If not, then cut it. If a cut changes your character in a way you don’t like, then you might want to keep it. You have to make motivations clear. Make sure the audience understands who your characters are. So don’t make cuts that take away from that, but be sure the scene shows that, and has some influence on the story as well. Otherwise you fall into non sequiturs.

Apparently that’s what I wanted to talk about this week. Hopefully it’s helpful in a way, and/or gives you something to think about. I hope you have an enjoyable week.

What I’ve published

Walk On

Walk On Cover

click here for a link to the book

Outsider Trilogy

Outsiders-Book-Cover-RGB-web-safe

Click here for a link to the book

Poetry

poems_front2

Link to my author page on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Steven-Oaks/e/B00MEGSEZ6

Link to the Deathship book in the CreateSpace store – https://www.createspace.com/5023771

Or you can help me out on Patreon. Again, thank you. https://www.patreon.com/StevenOaks

Update: Currently on chapter 32 out of 36

Steven Oaks

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