Friday, February 12, 2010

Editing

I have two complete manuscripts, same characters, just as most of the bestselling novelists in crime fiction seem to do. They are both a little too long to send to an agent. I have been working on the second one this week. So far I've trimmed 2K of the 5K I think I must go.

I don't like doing this by numbers not merit--however, when one is new, one does as one is told. The other, more lowering thought is that really those 5K were superfluous to begin with. The numbers game is a trick that forces one into a more even quality. So, forget that resistance. I am willing.

My eyes hurt from peering at words. New glasses, too. It's the reading on a screen for hours and hours. Mostly I think it is fear. Fear to try. As long as they sit at home, they are mine and universally loved by all who see them. But that is not how art is appreciated, wars are won, or books are published.

So, once I carve some more off of them, out they must go. I don't like to think of myself as a coward, and in general I don't think I am. But this kind of fear has slain me all my life.

"The coward dies a thousand deaths; the brave man only one."

So far this phrase has been of no help to me whatsoever.

5 comments:

peedee said...

Just Do It. C'mon Jump!! I'll hold your hand!

Capt. Schmoe said...

Two manuscripts? A hero in my eyes. Anyone who finishes one manuscript is worthy of accolades, let alone two.

Don't go crazy with the scissors, I am quite sure that those words were important to you when you wrote them.

Good luck.

Ann T. said...

Dear Captain Schmoe,
Thank you VERY MUCH for the encouragement.

I don't think I'm going crazy with the second one yet. On the first one, I had to stop because it started to feel crazy . . .

When I get them published, I am sending you and peedee copies. . .

I'm saying when, not if, PeeDee!

Ann T.

Mrs. Bunker said...

Send it!!!! and put me on the list. Don't strip it down too much, sometimes it takes another editor to do that (in my experience).
SEND IT!

the observer said...

Ann T.

Like the Captain, I admire the fact that you have manuscripts. Sometimes, I believe I have a book in me, but the detail and discipline escape my scattered ADD mind.

There was some good advice in the comments, such as letting another possibly help with the winnowing process.

Best, The Observer