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