Last month, in her wonderful business-of-writing blog, Kristine Katherine Rusch wrote a great piece about perfection and writers over-editing their work. Since I have an overly active lazy nature, I actually no nothing about it seeking perfection. I have always been a firm believer that great is good enough.
Over on her blog, Patricia C. Wrede also recently wrote about reading like a writer and how she never understood what it meant. I’m with her on that one. I read to enjoy books. Like Wrede, I only read like a writer when I want to learn how someone has done something specific. For that I go back to books and read individual passages.
What do these two things have in common?
My approach to writing, that’s what.
Today, I edited another chapter instead of having to write it from scratch (adding another 4800 words to the completed novel). Some things had changed so I read like a writer looking for those instances, but otherwise, I read the chapter the same way I would read any book – as a reader hoping to enjoy it.
And guess what? I did!
My approach to editing is this: if something makes me “fall out” of the story, then it needs to change. If I am happily pulled along, then it’s great and I leave it as is. Could it be better? Could I make it more exciting? More dramatic? More whatever? Probably, but if I like what I’m reading, I assume others will so, I leave it alone.
After all, why mess with something that’s already great?
Today’s Lunch: I woke up late this morning, so couldn’t come back home for lunch and I bought it again. So, instead, I’ll tell you about breakfast – grilled slices of polenta smothered with a French walnut cream cheese (that’s a French cheese with walnuts, not a cheese with French walnuts). A yummy way to start the day!