Friday, June 12, 2015

To Turn a Phrase

There are many famous lines by Shakespeare. I only know a few about him. The one that comes to mind is ... "He never struck a line. Would that he had struck a thousand."
Actors loved him because their part never got shortened or cut. For those who have to read/study his plays, they wish he'd condensed a bit.

I get it. My editor highlights lines in my work, saying, "You've already said that." Yes. But I phrased it two different ways and they are both so pretty. Can't I keep them both. (Alas, no). She points out, "This passage isn't really needed." Yes. But it has a nice flow, doesn't it?

Editing is hard, not just because it is painstaking and WAY less fun that creating the original text, but because I'm forced to purge. Just because I've fallen in love with a certain phrasing, doesn't mean it is vital to the story. It may affect pacing in a negative way.

Sigh. I understand. Still, I mourn some of my well-crafted descriptions and skilled phrases. Bye-bye.


Jenna Butrenchuk Greene

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2 comments:

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Stephen King says in his ON WRITING book, "Kill your darlings." He is right. Pick the best one and let the others go.

January Bain said...

Good advice, Julie!