Aug 21, 2007

Editing Challenges

by Terri Wagner

My LDS sister and I wrote a story last year that made it into a murder short-story book.

This year, we got ambitious and decided to write two stories, each in our own name. The deadline is near, and my story is the only one finished. Why? Because she decided to quit writing on hers and help me on mine, that of course, is now ours. She's brutal, and I get my favorite lines thrown out. Sometimes I protest, but she's a mother of nine; she's tougher than I am.

Editing is hard. I do it as a living, but in the technical world, editing is only about making sure the facts are correct and the premise is technically feasible. In fiction, it's all about what you like.

Do you find it hard to let go of certain phrases you wrote that you love, you get, you think is brilliant, and yet no one else gets it!!! That happens more than I can say.

There's a lot to writing to an eighth-grade level, but there's pure joy in writing to someone who in total sync with you. It's probably why I like the fantasy genre so much. You say elf, and everyone understands what you mean, no real description necessary. Do you find it easier to write that way or do you like taking the time and effort to write descriptively?


  1. Terri,
    Your raise some interesting questions. Yes, I find it extremely painful to cut out sentences I absolutely love, but which everyone and their neighbor tells me doesn't work. If enough people tell you the same thing, I guess it's time to bite the bullet and rewrite or toss out the line.

    Since I write about the Middle Ages, I do have to add a certain amount of description, to draw readers into the time period. Description is not my favorite thing to write, though. I much prefer writing dialog. I can certainly understand the attaction of writing in a genre like fantasy, where and elf is simply an elf!

  2. Oops! I ment "an" elf, not "and" elf is simply an elf!


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