April 18th, 2010

savannah

Editing Instinct - Do You Have One?

I finished editing Apostasy mid last week, and brought it down by 20,000 words. I decided to give another read-through to the Poetess's perspectives to make sure I got everything right.

I have been surprised by the quality of work in some parts, and disturbed by how much I hate other parts. Some bits of the book are like a piece of a painting that has been re-painted so often I'm not sure it'll ever look smooth again.

Overall, it's a much better book, but I'm still worried about my agent's reaction. The point of this process was to hand her a product so finished that she only has to give one round of edits for it. That pressure is making me second-guess my decision to keep a lot of the sub-plots, but I also kind of decided that I'm not going to cut anything that works and that I also like. If my agent feels it needs to go, then by I'll means I'll take it out, but I don't want to remove something she might have said it was okay to keep, you know?

So I was wondering... when I'm editing, if I read a bit that makes me get that sinking feeling in my stomach, I know it needs some work. But how do YOU identify when something needs to get cut? Is it purely a logical decision, or do you have a physical indicator like me?

Thanks to everyone for your feedback on my last two entries. The discussions were great!