Friday, March 1, 2013

The Fixer

Editing is such a foul word to me.

For me it conjurs up two concepts:

Cuts and Sacrifice.

I've read a great number of horror stories of well-known writers who have brushes with editors. Believe me, they're not pretty.

I was discussing this whole thing with my wife one night.

"Y'know what word works better?" I said, "Revision. That, to me, means that the story evolves, like a Phoenix from the ashes."

What's more, my wife and I have a special bond.

She's seen me at my most best and at my most blocked.

Every once in a while, I'll read something to her. Lately, she's been liking the plots I come up with and has offered to give my stories a once over with her eyes.

One thing you should know is that my writing journey started when I was a Freshman in highschool. I was working on a novel and tried to be very specific with it. Back then I thought you had to overload a novel with two things: Description and Exposition.

My wife read it, bless her heart, and she loved the core story. But when she suggested deep changes into the book, my ego flared up. I was appalled. Then again, back then, I was still in my infancy when it came to writing. However, it was a learning experience that had a lasting effect. Every time I write a story, I have her in mind. Would my wife be wowed by this? Would she like this part? Like this line?

So, with every project, I give the writing a meticulous glare.

Now my wife and I have worked out a very cool system.

First, I read said story out loud to her. Kind of like a performing an audio book.

Second, I give her the text.

Third, she goes through the text and balances, sharpens and carries the flow of the story.

Honestly, this is the happiest I've been with the entire process.

Just recently, I looked over a couple of her suggestions and were blown away with how well they worked within the core of one of my stories.

"You know what you are, babe?" I say with a smile. "You're not an editor at all. I'm gonna call you The Fixer. Here I come with this bright shiney new car and you go in there and tinker with the engine, grease a valve, rotate the wheels and you make it run smoother. I love it."

So, if you hate editing, find someone who knows you, really, really, really knows you and have them be your personal Fixer.

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