That hideous thing called editing

I hate editing. I hate editing with a great vengeance. Having said all that though, I’m starting to see the merit of it. You have to edit, you can’t write a story perfect the first time. It’s just part of the process. So the aim is to write and write, and then brush off the dust to reveal the story beneath during the editing process.

Hell, you can also have fun with the process, trying what it might be like to take the story in different directions.

One thing I love as much as I hate editing is the stories of D.M. Cornish. His Monster Blood Tattoo series has reminded me of the childlike joy of reading. They take you to a strange world, give you a map, and lets you go along with the main character for one great ride.

The first book, Foundling, was great. Lamplighter was hands down, better.

To make the whole deal cooler, Mr Cornish is online, blogs regularly, talks and listens to fans. You get to see the process of what it takes to write a great book, step at a time. You also learn to appreciate that the editing process is the largest part of writing a book. Mr Cornish wrote the third of the MBT series rather quickly. He’s stil editing.

However, the thing I want to show you today is from Lamplighter. Here, he shows us the various drafts of the novel. It’s the first two pages, through first draft, all the way through to the finished product, and I think there’s a valuable lesson to learn, just looking at the process.

Gods, I wish editing were quick. Then I’d know what happens to Rossamund next!


5 thoughts on “That hideous thing called editing

  1. Oh man. I LOVE editing. It’s the point where you can start seeing true gold emerging from heaps of crap, and where all the bits that seemed so laborious in the first draft suddenly become clear and obvious.

    Plus you can do editing on a tram without a laptop, which is double-plus good.

  2. lol yeah thats a bit costly, I probably wouldn’t edit either if it cost me that much!
    There is definitely value in editing, and I think the more you do it, the more you can find things to love about it. Am REALLY excited to get into editing Lifelines once this first draft of TCM is done 🙂

  3. I’m trying to learn the art of editing, since everything I write seems like gold (until I read it a year later when it’s like lead…does it decay?)
    What’s been helping me the most is harsh critiques. I learn a ton from those and really begin to see my weaknesses.

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