July 17, 2009
For the most part, I love the editing process. You submit your book with the initial panic that it’s crap and your publisher will hate it, but then you get the thumbs up. Phew! And then comes the detailed editorial report, which not only points out all the good things in the book, but also how to improve it. And like every writer, I’m all for making each book the best it can be.
But one of the things I HATE about editing is the scenes and lines that end up on the cutting room floor, so to speak. I’m talking about chunks that no longer fit because of other, bigger changes. In the case of KISS OF DEATH, I’ve got some major changes in chronology, which means some serious cutting and pasting and some ruthless cuts.
For the moment I’m storing all these paragraphs and scenes in a Word document titled Deletions. Perhaps once I finish my first major pass of the book and get a handle on the plot and chronology changes these scenes will fit elsewhere. Who knows?
To give you an example, this week I’ve deleted a five-page scene on a suspect interview. Problem is, that scene divulges heaps and heaps of my research – stuff that I worked hard on and I need to get it across somewhere! But where?
I’ve also deleted a half-page phone call, but that call included some key character insights – can I fit these elsewhere?
Sigh…I do love editing, but it can be hard to cut, cut, cut!
I’ve got quite a few upcoming events – more about that next week. But in the meantime if you’re based in Melbourne you might be interested in the Crime and Justice Festival. I’m not appearing this year, but I will be attending!