Books, Editing, Fiction, Novel, Writing

A Plan Gone Awry

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?


Image of diamond courtesy of jdurham / Morguefile

10 thoughts on “A Plan Gone Awry”

  1. Linda, I loved Wired for Story. In fact, I’ll be reading it again, I’m sure. I know exactly what you mean about reading a little then wanting to apply those ideas stat. That explains why it takes me so long to finish some of the other great books on writing that I own!

    Good luck on the edits. I’m sure your story will shine!

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    1. Yes, me too. I hesitate adding these books to my Goodreads “now reading” shelf because they stay so long it appears I’m having trouble reading it, but there’s just so much to take in I can’t rush it.

      Thank you.

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  2. I am exactly the same when I have editing to do! I just can’t stop myself from doing it then.
    That does sound good, might have to check it out.
    🙂

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  3. Hire someone to come clean your house, and you will top clean before they get there to finish the job, for big bucks. But it will all get done and it will feel great. Trust me!

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    1. Hiring someone would be great, Mary, but our budget has no allowance for that. I expect most of the heavy stuff will wait for NaHoCleMo, though I tried a new method of cleaning my broiler pan the other day and it worked like magic, so now I’m eyeing my dirty oven. 😉

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  4. Ah, the beauty of having a teenager at home – chores! I admit that I have a 17 y/o slave that is required to do some chores for the priviledge of having his own cell phone, but even at that I have plenty of my own. I must confess though, I’d much rather read or write than do a lick of housework and so my house is always barely surface clean these days. Funny thing is, before I started writing you’d think I had OCD, as scrubbing the walls with bleach was often a weekly event.

    The book sounds interesting and I’ll add it to my list, but I made a pact with myself to stop reading about editing until the time came when I felt it I had something worth polishing for publication. I did this because I found that worrying about editing caused me to choke during the writing process. I know, I’m strange.

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    1. That doesn’t sound strange to me, K., then again, I choke easily. I use Word to write and make tons of editing comments to myself in the margin as I write the first draft, so I’m always aware of editing. And now that I’m editing, I’m continually wondering what revisions my alpha will suggest. 😀

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