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Killing My Darlings Part Deux

11 Jan

Time for a mini rant, y’all.

I don’t mind taking an editing machete to my zombie pages. No problem whatsoever. But those suckers won’t stay dead! I have a few pages that are shambling along slower than a brain biter with broken ankles. Every time I go for a head shot and try to kill the pages, they get right back up again.

So what’s the deal? I think the pages are feeding off my fear that killing the pages will hurt the timeline of my novel. My fear is keeping these damn pages alive. No matter what I do, I can’t figure out a way to cut the pages and make it work.

There is only one solution. Completely rewriting that whole section of the book and altering the timeline. *Slams head on desk*

Why does revising have to be so painful? I have no problem cutting pages, but when it means completely revamping my timeline, scheme, and maybe even my character development, it causes me serious anxiety problems. Not because I am so devoted to the original work as it stands. That isn’t it at all. It is because I am lazy and a total face lift of that part of my novel feels like so much work.

Yet it must be done. Crap.

C. L. Parson

EDITING

I fucking love editing!

 

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Killing My Darlings and Disposing of the Bodies

20 Sep

Yesterday, I did some hardcore rewriting. It left me drained and oddly excited. Below are all the grisly details. Viewer discretion is advised.

Let’s start with the murders, shall we?

And by murder, I am talking about the twenty pages I completely trashed. I debated with myself about throwing away so much work, but in the end, the murdering of those pages helped make a stronger manuscript.

What about the bodies?

The twenty pages included some important information I still needed in order make my novel work. I shifted through all of the shit to find the bare essentials. I wrote them down on note cards to remind myself that these “bodies” needed to be relocated. Then on the back of the cards, I jotted down some ideas about where the “bodies” can go in the novel without it feeling like an info overload while still contributing to the natural flow of the dialogue. Below is one example.

The front of the card AKA the corpse

Back of the card

Seeing RED

After I had a few ideas about where to dispose of the bodies, I began to rewrite the manuscript. It began innocently enough. I told myself I was just going to read through it and make a few notes if I didn’t like something. I ended up doing more slashing than Freddy Krueger at a sleep study clinic. Below is a picture of the carnage. Oh, the humanity!

Avert your eyes!

In the words of Catherine Scully, a friend of mine, “that, my friend, is a lot of red ink.” (You can find Mrs. Scully on twitter @CatMScully. She also has an awesome blog: cscullywriter.wordpress.com.)

Instead of cowering in fear, I find myself rubbing my hands together, sharpening my knives (red pen) for round two. Muahahahaha! Manuscripts beware. There is a killer on the loose.

C. L. Parson

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