Sunday, December 16, 2012

A thought on editing

While editing my novel and watching a whopping 32,000 words disappear from my manuscript, I couldn't help but wonder how many hours I had wasted on something that lay now on the cutting room floor. But then a thought came to me: maple trees do not produce maple syrup. They produce maple sap which has to be boiled down to make syrup. In fact, it takes up to 50 gallons of maple sap to produce one gallon of decent maple syrup.
Perhaps a similar process is necessary to create a good novel. As you start writing, your brain simply pours out the "sap" of the story into the first few drafts. Then editing reduces it to the delicious "syrup" your muse demands and your readers deserve.
So do not cry a single tear over all the water that will evaporate in the process (it was most likely necessary to flush out all the good stuff that remains). Instead, my friend, stoke the fire under the kettle and start making some pancakes to enjoy with the finished product. :-) 

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