This Writing Life
Writer and psychologist.
View all posts by Ian Hocking
Hi Ian, I finished Deja Vu at the weekend. A great read — I really enjoyed it. I shall email you some thoughts, if you wish. But I wouldn’t want to be another cook peering over the pot.
I use the same film analogy with my own writing process — especially the bit where miles of expensive and hard-won footage ends up in the bin. (My BA is in film-making, although I never did anything with it.)
I’m also a fiddler, and I also leap into suggested edits with so much gusto the original suggester begins to wonder whether they just lit a fuse.
I’m not sure about the exact editing process you employ, but this blog post of mine covers the latter part of the process, as experienced three times now with the same editor. Much of it will probably ring bells.
By the way, most of my novels have undergone 30 drafts or more (probably a lot more.) It’s not an endless process because I treat deadlines as absolutely positively must-do, but there’s nothing to stop me spending 17 hours a day working on the manuscript beforehand, is there?
Great, Roger. I’ve emailed you…
Thanks your for comment, Simon. That was an interesting post. I think that one of the keys to writing ‘professionally’ (in a sense that removes the usual financial gain from the definition) is the understanding that feedback isn’t your worst but your bestest buddy. I think my own writing stepped up a gear when I realised that. You’ve got to kill your babies left, right, centre (and fore and aft) and…well, I’ll leave it there (self-editing…)
I would be interesting in hearing how much of the new editing is done to tighten up the story, versus how much is done to simplify the science and technology in the story.
I realize there might be some intersection between the two, but I’m looking more to the example of an editor asking why DNA has to be described in such a complicated way (two strands, double helix) when a simpler explanation (one strand, straight line) moves the story forward much faster.
Interesting comment, James. I think I might do an entry on this in lieu of a reply here, if that’s ok…
Sounds good to me.
See my essay at Lablit.com: http://www.Lablit.com/article/83 and Frank Ryan’s ongoing blog “Meet My Dragon” at the Lablit.com homepage.
You might also find some conversations with agents to be helpful: see http://rejecter.blogspot.com/2006_10_08_archive.html under the topics “In Defense of Agents” and “My anti-MFA rant”. The Q&A is interesting.
Also see http://mariemockett.blogspot.com/2006_10_01_archive.html and (starting from the bottom) Make Me Wonder and Why Agents Must Feel The Love. Again, the Q&A is interesting (and I never got an answer to Part II of my question).
Re: A later post — my girlfriend is also very rodent-focused, by the way, although she focuses on squirrels.
Or ignore my references above and just focus on your own experiences. More fun for you, perhaps more enlightening for me.
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