The For-God’s-Sake-Put-the-Book-Down-and-Walk-Away Approach to Editing

Posted on 29/03/2012 by


I just found a plot hole in the second book of Path. It’s tiny really, but I’m still sitting here thinking, How did no one notice that? How did I not notice that?

I have to rewrite all of, oh, two paragraphs, so it’s not a problem at all. Except for the way it makes me nervous. Makes me eye the rest of the book sidelong and mutter, What else you got?

I finally get back into editing it and the first thing the book says to me is, You’re an idiot. Think it missed me?

Still, here is yet more evidence to the for-god’s-sake-put-the-book-down-and-walk-away approach to editing. The more time away the easier it is to spot where you wandered away from the logic train. Plus, the distance is letting me read the last few new parts I wrote for it fresh and be all pleasantly impressed with myself.

Descending into this world, with these characters, is like meeting up with old friends. And I remembered that I’m falling in love with one of my characters in editing this book.

See, one of the major changes I’m making in this draft is bringing his perspective into the foreground. Which means spending a lot of time in his head. I’ve always been kind of fond of him in an offhand sort of way — like he’s a cute but dopey puppy. But getting in his head… just makes me smile every time. He’s kind of insecure, and kind of a goof, and he really means well while being totally out of his element. And I just love writing for him.

So, you know, shortly I’m going to be absolutely horrible to him. But there’ll be beer. That sort of makes up for it, right? Although, come to think of it, the beer might be responsible for some of the horrible things that happen. Er, best two out of three?