Archive for March, 2013

Editing Left Cross

Posted: March 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

Over the years, I’ve learned to take a few punches. It never feels good.

But writing? I ask for them. Not only do I edit for a living, I also write. I make the same mistakes I cross out of authors’ manuscripts.

Nobody is a perfect writer. Never have been, never will. I can take any of the classic literature, and especially modern writing, and show you at least ten different issues on any given page.

The problem is not the writing. It is the author. Their ego tightly entwined with the words on the page. And much like tech support cringing when a customer says, “I’m an engineer”, I cringe when an author announces they’ve studied literature or writing.  I wince, growl and take a deep breath. I want to say, “Whoop de doo.” But I have to be nice. Study all you want, until an author has taken away the Ego Glasses, they will never improve.

For example, myself. I pulled out an old manuscript, written two years ago. I burst into laughter at the huge amount of mistakes, the overuse of pronouns, redundancies, the annoying “…” in every sentence, the lack of transitions and, holy shit, the amount of telling. Oh, wow. And I slash this shit for a living.

The difference between Ego Writer and myself? Easy. Ego Writer will buck all changes, refuse to improve the manuscript, only do basic edits, ensured of their superiority.

I’ll beg people to slash, mutilate and leave as many gaping red inked wounds as possible, and then listen, putting the edits to good use. I know better, I’m not perfect.

So if you are worried about word count, don’t be. Edit. Revise. Slash, slice, dice, and do it with a smile. Let others do the same.

Don’t be Ego Writer, because frankly, you are only a pain in the ass. Your writing suffers, although your ego might remain in tact. If your ego is more important than the writing, walk away. Better yet, get the hell out of here. Go find someone willing to gush over your writing, but know it will never stand the test of time, or feedback.