‘Edit’ Is a Four-Letter Word (week of 2 April 2012)

Have you ever encountered someone who said that writing a novel is easy?

Settle down, we know it’s not. We’ve been through the process as recently as November, which is – as you know – National Novel Writing Month. We call it NaNoWriMo and those of us that have taken on the challenge are known as WriMos.

Ask any of us here in the Cafe on any given day what’s harder than writing the novel or even coming up with an idea that should be fleshed out and researched and you’ll get one answer: editing.

Hands down the most difficult, though for some enjoyable, process is going through your creation and hacking away at it. Cringing at the bits that seemed to make sense when you were writing really late that night and buzzing on coffee and energy drinks is the least of what happens. Hair is torn out, teeth are gnashed and foreheads slapped. Despair settles easily around a writer’s shoulders when it looks like the story isn’t salvageable.

All is not lost, however. This week is where the Confabulators share how we edit; what our goals are, what our particular process is and just how do we decide to make the cuts. It’s a little peek into the restless minds of writers trying to make their stories better.

So come back all week long to see if we do things the same ways or what the variations might be. At the very least it ought to be entertaining as we detail how to ‘murder our darlings’.

Jason Arnett is a storyteller living in Kansas and writing in the plains of the fantastic. Some of his work can be found at www.jasonarnett.com

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