Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Editing: What it Really Means


 

I've recently made acquaintance with a fine writer. She and I write the same genre: cozy mystery, and have begun sharing in the wealth, meaning the wealth only mystery writers can share.

This wealth doesn't come in the form of coins or hundred dollars bills. It doesn't come from just a look-see over sentence structure and paragraphing. It comes from writing the same genre and seeing what needs to be fixed or removed completely, what needs to be shaped and what needs to be pared in the other's work.

It's been really interesting.

I have had many, many writer friends, editors and readers throughout the years read my stuff, but never have a had a cozy mystery writer read and critique my cozy mystery, and I'm here to tell you, it makes a world of difference.

Sometimes, it's enough to have an avid reader or an expert editor read your work, but at other times (and as I'm learning, especially with a mystery) it's a good idea to have someone read your work that's prolific in the same genre.

What you'll find is that those nuances, those tiny details that others may miss, someone who writes what you write will find them out. Even after you've done your research (and you need to research for a mystery book) you'll find that you missed some things and took other things for granted, (why didn't I discover that cruise ship employees were not allowed to fraternize with those on board?)

For those of you who know, Sunny-Side Up is in the editing phase, and it's really getting the work-out this time around. Yes, I have my regular readers and editors, but, like I said, I also have this cozy mystery writer who is checking out the kinks.

You know, editing is a bit like personally going through the refiner's fine. You may not like it. It may burn. But in the end, you are shiny clean.

There's nothing I want more.
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