The Butcher. (On Writing and Editing)

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I would like to begin by apologizing to the critics I bemoaned in the previous posts; they were absolutely right. The story wasn’t working. It was too slow and didn’t get to the point. It gave the reader nothing to latch unto. That was my failure as an artist.

Writing is a very intimate process. Alone reading it by myself, I am attached to it like a parent. I don’t judge it for its deficiencies. I recognize those are my responsibilities. I am happy letting it be a “child”. It is good enough to me. The world doesn’t give a shit about that though, and I respect that. I understand that.

We are all too busy and there is too much good stuff out there to waste too much time on things that aren’t working. Now this can be a fickle attention, no doubt about it, but the exercise is not how do we fix people’s criticism or what is right criticism, but how do we capture their attention! I want people to read my book, that is my hope. If someone tells me they didn’t like my book, that is my fault, not theirs.

Now this does’t mean chase every whim of the reader, but it does mean in the construction, editing phase, if you are hearing the same criticism repeatedly, you better deal with that issue.

It has taken me about two weeks now to get a decent revision on my first chapter. First rewrite I made a tense issue, rewriting it all in present tense absentmindedly, then I had to go back and rework that. I also had to make dramatic changes to the story line to pick the pace up, so this means a lot of work coming in the rewrites of the later chapters.

That’s where butchering comes in. I am dedicated to the basic premise of my story, and the basic shell/structure of the story and major plot points, but other than that I need to let go of all these chapters. The story I wrote for myself is not the same story I am going to tell the reader. I have got to remember the reader and give them their respect and attention.

Art is a bit like making love! Meaning to be good at it you need to remember your partner. Oh god, I just mixed metaphors, butchering, parenting, lovemaking, what the hell is that?

I was considering how to share the story I’m working on, and it became obvious to me that I might as well just post it here as I work on the chapters, so that as we go along we can all be on the same page about the story. So I am definitely excited to see if I can get any responses from people here to the story. On that note, blogging is a bit like an open mic night in an empty room, so if anyone one is reading this leave a comment and say hello! I would especially love to hear from other artists and about their process!

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