Thursday 15 May 2014

The Jabberwocky Guide to Editing

Editing can be a horrible process but it can also be a liberating one.  A lot depends on your frame of mind as you sets out to look at your manuscript/paper/.docx/Scrivener file. Approach with a defensive attitude, intent on preserving as many dearly-loved passages and favourite characters as possible, and the editing process can be transformed into bloody trench warfare, with each slow advance followed by a retreat and every last word the scene of an ugly skirmish.  On the other hand, leaping into the attack, intent on cutting away the excess characters, unnecessary plot twists and purple prose that threaten to strangle your story, and the whole thing can end up being rather fun.  In the end it's much easier to slice away a whole page with a flash of the editing blade than it is to trudge through every sentence jabbing each word with your bayonet to check if it's still alive.

So it is that I advise the Jabberwocky approach to editing: take your vorpal sword in hand, seek the manxome foe and make like the hero of Lewis Caroll's poem.

One, two! One, two! and through and through.
His vorpal blade went snicker-snack!

It really is the best way!

No comments:

Post a Comment