Editing and Life

This is not one of those posts about life getting in the way of my editing. It is more about my style of editing and how it compares to life.

I edit slowly. For the edit for my current work in progress (WIP) I’ve been highlighting and going through and getting rid of filtering words; the words that distant the reader from your character. Like thought, felt, noticed, recognized, etc. These words make you one step removed from the story. Kind of like if you distant yourself from your life and don’t notice everything going on around you. Writing is great. Getting published is great. But it is only a slice of your life.

Most men, if they are smart, leave their jobs at the workplace. As a writer, that is a little harder to do. My current story or a new story idea is always in my head. So, random thoughts or ideas will just jump out, during long rides, or at the dinner table. The inner writer is never asleep.

Next, in my editing I need to dig deeper into my characters. One, the heroine, is from the Midwest. Living in California I don’t know a lot about the Midwest except from my trips there. Thankfully, my editor is from there and gave me tremendously great ideas to make my heroine seem like she is from the Midwest. Just like in life, dig deeper, know what you are doing and why. Know your family and friends. Are they on an even keel right now, or do they need a shoulder to cry on, a leg up with troubles in their lives, or just a hug. Pay as much attention to what your family and friends are doing and why as you do your imaginary characters.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”  – Ferris Bueller

Jill James


4 thoughts on “Editing and Life

  1. Jill, I love the idea of digging deeper. I move pretty fast in writing and my life, and sometimes I need to slow down and really examine whether I’m really developing things the way they should and most importantly, enjoying everything I’m actually doing! Thanks for the great post. V

  2. Great post, Jill. I don’t like the editing process at all. I’m a very fast writer and much slower on the edits. I set a goal for me when doing edits. I will REALLY edit ten pages a day until I get through the manuscript. After that, I re-read the entire MS twice and fine tune it.

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