Pins, Needles, and Uzis


Well it seems I’ve managed to  upset the delicate balance of  Feng shui of the writer’s world with my post on editing yesterday.   In one sense I haven’t had this type of feedback since I did my series on Harry Potter.  In another sense, writers are prickly creatures.

I knew,  before I ever hit that publish button, I knew that  when I do these  “things that tick me off” posts I should really let them sit for a day or two before I hit publish, but I didn’t.  Nope, I impulsively wrote out my thoughts, did a quick edit and  hit publish.  Then the clock began to tick.  One comment, then two, then twenty – then  my email is flooded, and my private  messaging on Facebook.  Thank goodness for the option to post or not post comments!

Wow!  People really do read my blog even though I’ve been out for a long, long time battling  injuries  and health issues.  I didn’t want to  dwell on it or post about it because I don’t want  anyone to think I am making excuses for myself.  I simply was trying to work through my issues however slow it was.  Thank you everyone that ever bothers to read  my little platform here, I greatly appreciate all of you!

Now back to the editing post, If you will reread my post from yesterday, you will notice that I never  used anyone’s name. I did not  slam  anyone’s work.   I have different  avenues that I edit for and it’s amazing to me that  everyone assumes it’s them.  I have made every  mistake that can be made. I am not innocent of  the editing issues. My point is we should strive for excellence improving our work.

None of us are  producing gold right out of the shoot.  Stephen King had an editor. J K Rowling had an editor.  Until the next Shakespeare comes along,  the rest of us need to practice good writing etiquette.

Let’s face it, in today’s competitive market every  advantage that you can get is needed.  If you as a writer have a cleaner, easier to read manuscript than  Tom, Bob and Harry then  you rise above theirs and yours doesn’t end up in the slush pile.

The same principle applies to self publishing and in fact  if you are self publishing take the time to hire a good editor.   Don’t skip steps to speed up the process!  Quality first,  quantity second.

This is the difference between an aspiring writer and a serious  writer.  A serious writer wants to perfect their craft not just get something out there to check something off of a list.  I am guilty of being overly conscious and  obsessive compulsive about  my work.  Trust me there is  no  one as critical of my own work than I am. I have finished manuscripts now that I need to take that next big plunge and actually submit my work.

I briefly  mentioned that point; the  cutting of the umbilical cord step. That is the step I am currently working on.

So, enough nonsense about editing.  I originally wanted to post an excerpt of my writing yesterday.  There are times when I actually am satisfied with a passage that I have written,  it’s rare.   I can’t compare to Hemingway’s obsessiveness but there are times when I  have rewritten a section so many times that I lose count.

Last week  as I was editing and revising Faere Warrior, I hit upon the magical combination and  the secret doors inside the mystery caves of my mind opened.   I hadn’t been in  ” The Zone” like that for some time.   Being off  medication helps.  I think the editing helped even though it has taken time from my writing.  This week  it was easier to  find the combination again.

Here’s just one passage of this week’s contribution to Storytime Trysts.  This  didn’t turn out   to follow my original outline at all.   In fact, I am having to rework my outline but that’s a good thing.  The even that was to mark this week’s goal didn’t happen so in essence I just extended  my work by at least two chapters.

So here it is, a little excerpt from Oral Dilemma.  Let me know what you think!

  The glass shattered on the floor, ice tea went everywhere. NO! It couldn’t be true. Not my mom, it was a mistake – a horrible cruel joke from Tara. My mom was strong, invincible. She was an amazing woman that did it all. She was only 45! Luke came running to see what happened. There I stood pale white, broken glass in a pool of tea at my feet. I’m not even sure if anything was said after that on the phone, it was a blur.

Considering that  none of this was in my original outline, I think it’s turning into a real story  that takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride through the ups and  downs  that are life, including a few curve balls.  Stay tuned though because after the curve ball is an F4 tornado!

H ow can you grow if you never go through a few trials? The trials carve us from a lump of clay into  the  masterpiece.

So while I  sit  at my editor’s desk jabbing  pins and needles at  other writer’s works, I am dodging  live fire from Uzis by  the critics that I have  angered.  It’s all  good,  it keeps me on my toes.

Write on my friends, write on!

9 comments on “Pins, Needles, and Uzis

  1. There was a time when I didn’t edit, because, hey, Imma writer! Leave that editing for the editors. But when you start reading about how other writers write–Neil Gaiman, William Gibson, and George R. R. Martin come to mind–you discover that they edit, and correct, their drafts before they send them off to the publisher. I mean, like SHOCK! Right? So clean up those works before you send them off, penmonkeys. To paraphrase the late, great, Dale Earnhardt, the editor is there to catch the things you’ve missed and help you focus your story–not turn your chicken s**t into chicken salad.


  2. Don’t hate me Ellie, but you made me thrust on my editor hat. I mean this in the most good-natured, friendly, tongue-in-cheek, humorous-in-pointing-out-the-delicious-irony-of-the-situation way.

    “None of us are producing gold right out of the shoot.”

    You meant “right out of the chute.” here, didn’t you?



  3. I loved yesterday’s post. It was a great reminder 🙂 Thanks for putting yourself out there and taking live fire. It’s hard to do.


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