Saturday, June 4, 2011

Of Ringwraiths and Editing

Well, I officially went back over my work and read it from start to finish yesterday. It was hard at first, because my mind was yelling at me that it had heard the sentences a hundred times before and it wanted something new. I could wallow in self-pity, thinking my work is worthless (which did cross my mind), but then I went to watch the Lord of the Rings with my friends (which makes it into my top five all time favorite films-I’ve watched them at least ten times each), but I couldn’t make it through the entire first one because I’d memorized every line. So how do we get through that boring repetitiveness we’re innately against?

Ringwraiths. When those ringwraiths pull out their swords, or even just show up all creepy, covered in mist, something inside of me clenches. And when they start towards poor Frodo… It’s scary. It’s painful. It’s universal. Even though, not many of us can say we’ve come face to face with a ringwraith, we all know too well what fear and pain is. For me, the real strength of a story is in those scenes that are packed full of well-delivered emotion. Those are the ones that will draw you in time and time again.

All it took was coming across one emotion packed decently written scene in my own work, and I was able to read from there on out without glancing away from the screen. The only problem is, sometimes, I get so drawn in that I forget what I’m doing: editing.

I had to divide it up between editing for content (ie: is that the right response? Would this character really want to go there? Is she really smart enough to figure that out? Is he really dumb enough to push that button?) and editing for grammar/typos (ie: “I don’t think he was shitting his wallet… that “I” should be a “U”).  That being said, I don’t trust myself enough to catch every little mistake. I have a few fantastic friends (including my amazing father who corrects all the science part of my science fiction world) who have agreed to edit it for me. Hopefully that will work out, but the idea of paying a professional editor is still floating around in my mind as a strong possibility. 

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