I'm Editing On Frigga's Day.
Frigga says: "Hey, when you finish editing that stinkin' novel, could you fix my lipstick?!"

This is the third official time I've been through my "completed" manuscript.  I put the word completed in quotation marks because, as any writing teacher worth her red ink knows, it's never really complete.  This is becoming more and more obvious to me.  I had intended to let that manuscript rest a bit longer before I went back into it with hacksaw and scalpel, but I just couldn't.  It's like when you're child is sick.  You MUST make her better, pronto!

So I'm going through it again, painstakingly.

It's a trip, I'll tell you.  I am once again remembering things as I wrote them and working  on cutting out anything that seems redundant or superfluous.  Sometimes I frown in consternation.  Sometimes I chuckle with delight.  At all times, though, I ask myself this:  "Does this chapter propel the story forward?"

I am shortening it, by fits and starts.  I fear it will never get chopped down to the length it's "supposed" to be.  I have it on a pretty good authority that it was too long as it was and therefore daunting for agents to sell and/or publishers to afford to publish.  And, I agree, actually.  I'm not chopping it just for that.  I'm chopping it because I know that I write too much.  Some people have to squeeze words out; I have to shave them away.

The complex issues at hand while I edit though, is that some elements of my story propel the immediate story forward, that is, the story of "this" novel, and some elements are essential components to what is going to happen in my sequel novels.  When you are planning out a stand-alone novel, you write and edit your story differently than if you are planning out a series/saga.  Let me tell you also, it is difficult to explain all of this in a one-page query to agents!  I debate on whether to tell them any of the "sequel stuff" at all, but then I run the risk of them asking me "I'm not entirely certain why this is in here."  Oh well, I don't need to cross that bridge yet, I suppose.  In the meantime, if it's compelling, it's going to stay - thank you very much.

I've always loved words.  Loved them with a passion.  I love finding just the precise one to use for each individual circumstance.  I like to proofread for an overuse of certain words, which I will then eliminate and/or replace with a more appropriate synonym or rephrase.  My own vocabulary is pretty strong, but I won't lie:  I am a frequent Thesaurus. com visitor.  I'm a frequent Dictionary.com visitor, for that matter.  Every once in a blue moon, I use a word incorrectly, and it bothers the crap outta me!  (It's usually my ludicrous logophile of a  husband who catches these things, much to my dismay.)  I like to go back into my writing and hone the verbiage, to make sure I'm making the most of my words.

But, I have to get back to it now.  It's not gonna edit itself, I assure you, so please forgive me for the rather abrupt conclusion to this blog post.

Happy Friday!

My logophile moment for you:  Did you know that Friday comes from the Old English "Frigga's Day?"  Frigga was the goddess of married love.  I'll have to remember to tell my husband!


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