Sunday, June 26, 2016

What Makes a Good Edit?

It’s not often that I edit something and am satisfied with the result. This one was pretty good. I am working on a novel with an opening chapter of 3,200 words and not very good ones at that. It is a story I like, but the first chapter has me putting it on the back shelf, time after time. What did I do? I gutted it, streamlined it back to 1,800 words, and now it works.
Thought I might need the Military to blast out parts of this book!
Took this photo on a recent walk - nice fly over

Novels do not need fillers - I should have known better, I tried to explain everything in the first chapter, even things the reader would discover later. It not only had laundry lists of facts that were not needed, it had too many things that had no relation to the rest of the story. It reminded me of the parts in newspapers and magazines that we used to call, fillers or interesting tidbits, whatever that is. For me, it was useless added information that would not become part of the story later.
Now this is pretty good filler and will make a great novel scene someday

One last comment - I like a shorter, not a longer opening chapter. Maybe that is what bothered me, a 12-page opening chapter, I like the all-new look of the now seven-page chapter. Now off to the press, not really, but I always wanted to say that.

A note on the book with the new first chapter – here is the cover (shot moments ago with my cell phone).
The Photo is Centered on the Actual Book
Not So Much Here On My Cell Photo
The book should be available in the middle of July. It has already been proofed and edited, I just did not like it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson on Editing – I love reading Emerson, and in my historical fiction book, Commitment, the protagonist, Blade Holmes quotes him, as he will in my upcoming, book two, of the Blade Holmes trilogy.
  Emerson said, “Let the reader find that he cannot afford any line of your writing because you have omitted every word that he can spare.”
Not sure he was always that sparse but he often was.

 Meanwhile - Have a great week - keep on reading, and keep on writing, and sadly we must all keep on editing and rewriting. 
My Wyoming Garden is doing fine, and thanks for asking!
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