reading Heather’s blog busy editing when the subject of yard sales came up. While there are NO yard sales in any of my manuscripts, Miss Heather had one and it brought back some memories of the few I’ve held.
We were doing a fairly brisk business, when this woman came along and began looking through the items we had for sale. It wasn’t too bad at first, but then I noticed that whenever she picked up something, ANYTHING, she’d give it a squint-eye, then shake her head while CLUCKING HER TONGUE.
At first it was kind of funny, but after the tenth time, I was starting to get annoyed. She was picking up MY STUFF. It got to the point where my partner thought she’d have to physically restrain me from going over and asking that woman just what was wrong with MY STUFF. IT’S PERFECTLY GOOD STUFF! My stuff is worth way more than…
It was while I was retelling this story that I had my “ah-HA!” moment.
I’m pretty much the same way with my writing. When I edit, I look at those perfectly good sentences and say, “What’s wrong with it? It’s a wonderful sentence! It’s worth a million bucks! I can’t just shake my head, cluck my tongue and toss it aside.”
So, my writing tends to get bogged down with “wonderful sentences” and in the process becomes ponderous and top heavy. I’m also not a big fan of rereading my stuff all the way through because I’m easily distracted by “Oh, this needs a change…”
It’s a paradox at times: all that “perfectly good writing” needs to be changed for the better.
My only way around this little conundrum has been my Culled Bits file. If I finally decide that my wonderful sentence just won’t work where it is, and yet I cannot bear to delete it forever, I’ll stick it into the CB file and maybe put it to use elsewhere.
What about you? Do you find yourself overly attached to your words? Does the “delete” key give you the chills, or are you a ruthless editor who can hack and slash through your writing without a backward glance?