Editing Woes

Well yesterday I started to write  the short story I’ve been working on. It’s actually a rehash of my story “Cycles”,

This bloody draft

which for some of you older readers you will remember I got published last June in the late Absent Willow Review. Long story short I have had odd feelings for that piece since the day after it was published; I noticed errors in the syntax that eluded both myself and the editor. Also, my writing has drastically changed since I wrote the damn thing: I’ve learned that ‘the road to hell is paved with adverbs’ (King) and to just cut the bullshit out of my writing.

Back to the topic at hand. As I began to write my 1000 word quota yesterday, I made it 589 words with my fingers dragging across the plastic keys and my brain aching with each word. I felt as if my mind was fogged. Turns out Brain Fog  is a real thing. The only thing I could think of was that instead of sugar in my coffee, I used aspartame sweetener. I know it’s terrible, but I substituted one evil with another. So instead of forcing myself to work on the draft i did something more labor intensive: editing.

I dug through my folders of tons of essays, short stories, and poems, plucked a rather long short story of 6100 words out of its confines and tossed it on my desk. With a red pen in hand, I dived deep into this poor crafted monster. The story was there, the narration was there, and even the flow was there. The issue? It was littered with loads of filthy adverbs, poor word usage, and grammar issues.

My 8th grade English teacher someone who has had a massive impact on my writing, once told me on a cold winter day in 2007 that if my rough draft didn’t look like a battlefield- that I was doing something wrong. From this one point I have made editing an onslaught of the written word. It’s time to kill my darlings! I have found quite a few gems littered throughout my folders; some are great (or so I think) and I will be sending them out once they’re polished, some are good and I will share on this site, and some are shit, but I’ll let my little brother make comics out of them or something.

I’m taking this writing game by storm. Too long have I sat a side without my fingers on the keys and I called myself a writer. No, I am writing everyday, and reading everyday, and networking everyday. This is my time to hone my craft and share my art and I won’t let this slip away from me again.

How do you edit? Let’s trade strategies drop your comments below and maybe we can exchange tips 🙂




About Damian Rucci

D.F. Rucci is a writer, blogger, and a musician from a small town in New Jersey. View all posts by Damian Rucci

5 responses to “Editing Woes

  • 1 Story A Week

    My editing process is pretty simple. I berate myself for writing such trash while I find worse ways to get my ideas across.

    • Damian Rucci

      haha I’ve tried not to be too harsh on myself, but I am hard on my words. I don’t think anything’s perfect though i try to get my draft as clean as possible. Thanks for commenting!

  • Linda Adams

    It’s the typos that’s killing me — the words are spelled correctly, but they’re the wrong words! * Grumble, gumble *

    I’ve been experimenting with editing in layers — which is going through the story for a specific thing like changing vague nouns to more specific, rather than trying to fix it at the same time as something else (where I will miss it).

    The book The Weekend Novelist Rewrites the Novel describes a technique of circling all the nouns and putting a square around all the adverbs, which makes them stand out more.

    Linda Adams – Soldier, Storyteller

  • What Working in the Meat Department Taught Me About Writing « The Gray Pen

    […] is written and after the ‘leave alone’ period, you should attack the damn thing, edit it, and ship it out. Why waste a gift when you can share it with […]

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