Delete. Remove. Expunge. Excise. Eradicate. Cut.

Posted on 24/07/2013 by


Me: Ugh. I’ve reached a chapter that has four decisions in it. Four!
Arkem: Are they yes/no decisions? Because I could help.
Me: Somehow I don’t think your help would be properly informed.
Arkem: That’s never stopped me before.

I’m up to the point in this draft where it’s all about making the hard calls. Over the course of the editing process I mark up a lot of things to fix, or think about, or get a second opinion on, but by this point the only ones that are left are the ones I’ve been avoiding.

This is generally either because I’m conflicted or because I’m lazy. Actually, that’s often the same thing. I’m conflicted because I’m lazy. The text is marked up because I have some kind of problem with it but I’ve been telling myself that I’m being overly judgemental and it’s fine because I don’t want to deal with it.

The easy solution with all these parts is simply to cut them. But if I haven’t done that yet it’s because there’s something in there that I want to keep. Some point it’s making that I’m not prepared to sacrifice.

But now I’m down to the line, so it’s fucking fix it or take the plunge and hit the delete button. In reality this results in me squirming on my couch before reluctantly pulling out a scalpel, or in me ripping the text down to the ground and writing it back up again. Both of which are disproportionately time-consuming so getting through was meant to be a quick final spin through is taking forever.

If you hear a distant grinding sound that’s just my teeth…

A hand with a delete key resting in the centre of it. Caption reads: Editing - Your chance to make a contribution to the world of literature.