So far my plan to get some serious housecleaning done before starting to edit has not exactly succeeded. I did get my office dusted and uncluttered (mostly), which took two days, but then I wasted a day and a half on a computer problem. Tomorrow we start dog-sitting again, only two this time. So I have a new plan.
If I limit myself to a surface edit of just a chapter or two a day, I could still cross off a cleaning chore that day. Am I deceiving myself? Probably. I just can’t stand knowing I have all that work waiting—writing work, not housework. I’m expert at ignoring that.
A saner person than I might ask why the hurry to edit? After all, when I do start, I’ll have to face that the brilliant gem I think I fashioned is actually nothing more than rough sandstone. I guess my version of an “extreme sport” is editing. Risking life and limb to make that polished diamond a reality. Ahem.
I had hoped to finish reading Wired for Story: The Writer’s Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence by Lisa Cron before I started editing, but I can’t concentrate to read lately. No, that’s not it. I can concentrate, but when I read a book on writing, I can’t read for long before I get the itch to apply what I just read or check for the mistakes the book warns against.
Anyway, the book description says (in part):
The vast majority of writing advice focuses on “writing well” as if it were the same as telling a great story. This is exactly where many aspiring writers fail—they strive for beautiful metaphors, authentic dialogue, and interesting characters, losing sight of the one thing that every engaging story must do: ignite the brain’s hardwired desire to learn what happens next. When writers tap into the evolutionary purpose of story and electrify our curiosity, it triggers a delicious dopamine rush that tells us to pay attention. Without it, even the most perfect prose won’t hold anyone’s interest.
Sounds good, huh? I mean, who doesn’t want to write a page turner? Let’s hope I can learn a few things to make this next gem shine like the sun. And hey, maybe that will inspire me to wash my dirty windows. Won’t that be magic?