January. Summer days and long warm evenings. New plans and new beginnings and resolutions to be better, do better and do more over the upcoming year. I always use this time as a chance to see how far I’ve come and use that as a measure of how far I’ve got to go.
If you follow me on social media, you would have seen my surprise when, a week or so ago, I decided to check the contents of a file on my desk called “Needs Editing” and discovered fifteen completed stories in there ready to edit! It was a pleasant surprise to know all the time I’d thought I wasn’t really getting through a lot I’d been busily putting away completed stories for when I had more time and a clearer head to go through them.
Editing is a lot like the concept of a Watchtower for me. Stories, once written need time and space to breathe a little, before I can come back with a far ranging, all seeing eye and try to pick out the essence of the story and shine a light on it, rather than letting it get mired down in all the other thoughts that come out along with it in the first draft.
There’s a lot to think about when editing a story, does the central character have enough of a character to be interesting, is there enough plot, does the story move forward in every scene. Does it al make sense, and most importantly, is it interesting. I’ve had stories where every second line is crossed out and rewritten, and others where I’ve corrected a spelling mistake or two and left alone. There’s no hard and fast rules for editing, much like writing, so it’s making it all up as I go. Yet there’s a great satisfaction in revisiting these stories and getting them ready to be seen, I can’t wait to get started! Have a great 2019 and don’t forget that looking back and revisiting can as fulfilling as forging ahead with the new.