Tuesday, 18 August 2009

The joy of polishing (or should that be procrastinating?)

I love polishing. Not the housework variety, because despite having been paid good money for my household tips (the husband is still rather disbelieving about that) my real heartfelt housework tip can be summed up as 'Life's too short'.

However I do enjoy going over and over a piece of writing and substituting a word here, cutting a sentence there etc. In fact I suspect I enjoy it rather too much. Every time I read my competition chapter I see a glaring error and I'm starting to think that no matter how many times I read it I will keep seeing stuff I don't like and I will never, ever be satisfied with it.

So, I'm going to have to set myself a deadline to leave it alone to rest (or ferment???) and actually get on with the writing I'm supposed to be doing - the partial to send to Richmond that I have developed inexplicable stage fright over. Before Jackie points out (although probably not publicly because she's too nice) that I already set myself a deadline to move on to Secret Billionaire um, yesterday, I will quickly set myself a new one - before the end of this week I am going to start my re-write of SB.

In the meantime just a little more indulgence of looking for any lurking cliches or 'was's or 'felt's that might have crept in when I wasn't looking :-)

Before I get my duster out I just want to pass on three really good editing tips I read recently:

  1. If you write something you think might be unclear, it is. Big time. Change it or cut it.
  2. Make sure you've started your scenes late and left them early.
  3. If you find you've said the same thing more than once - choose the best and cut the rest.


Jackie Ashenden said...

Lorraine, am I going to have to put you on the naughty step? ;-)

Great tips btw.

Lacey Devlin said...

Lol Jackie! Number two of the tips is my favourite :) Thanks Lorraine!

Lorraine said...

Jackie - I knew there had to be an advantage to having a CP thousands of miles away - you'd have to track me down first :-)

Thanks Lacey, I've just seen a typo in tip two, I need to find that duster...

Suzanne Jones said...

Great advice, Lorraine.


Joanne Cleary said...

Great tips, as for polishing? I don't like it at all--either sort. I like writing my stories and hate having to go back and make it all make sense. Although really making the writing pretty should be more of a priority than finishing ... I have so much to learn.