- How often I end up on celebrity-babies.com.
- Driving while talking.
- The level to which shoes > porn.
- The tingle I get from a page covered in red pen.
So, I’m going to admit it: editing kind of turns me on. I did a lot of it in my previous job; the most satisfying feeling I get, professionally, is taking something complex and wordy and difficult and trimming and squeezing and shaping it into something simple. I dare anyone to turn a page of dense tax-related legalese into a set of one-syllable bullet points and not feel slightly attracted to them afterwards.
Turns out, editing my own work borders on indecent. Livejournal would put an adult content warning on it and hide it from the general public. I already knew I felt that way about short stories, in which I usually end up cutting more than I leave, but (so far) it’s exciting to know that editing something novel-length is just as delicious. It’s long, and it hurts, and I have to ditch stuff I liked, but watching this rambling word-monster of a manuscript get pruned and tugged and tightened into shape… well, it wets my noodle (even more than hyphenating things, which is my second-favourite new hobby).
I read a thousand books on writing, and they said a thousand different things, the most useful of which was Stephen King’s, which I think more-or-less (hyphenation!) boiled down to: do what feels right. So that’s my basic strategy.
Accordingly, I’m editing from the midpoint out and then the start back in. I already know the bulk of re-writing is in the first couple of chapters, but I’m not altering anything that affects later events, so it’s easier to start in the thick of things and go back to the beginning later. We’ll see if this works when I come back around.