Update. Next Publication is: Under Strange Suns, available digitally August 2015, print version due December 2015, Twilight Times Books.

Editing Purgatory

I suppose I should write about Father’s Day. But I’m busy enjoying it. Why write about it? Instead, I want to jot down a few thoughts about editing, since I’m currently wallowing in editing purgatory. Feel my pain.

Imagine you’ve finished creating a jigsaw puzzle. You’re happy with the picture. It’s attractive and you like the complexity of the manner in which the pieces slot together. Now imagine you get some notes with a few requests for changes.

Okay, stepping out of the metaphor for a moment, this is what happens after the publisher hands your manuscript over to an editor. You get suggestions. Requests that this happen sooner in the story, that that bit gets cut, that this description is excessive. Etc.

So, returning to the metaphor, you attempt to comply. You remove a piece or two, add one, move a few around. But once you’ve done that most of the rest of the pieces no longer slot neatly together and your picture collapses amid a cascade of disconnects. You need to adjust everything in order to once again present an attractive picture. And you can only hope that it resembles the picture you had in mind when you first began creating it.

It can become rather frustrating. But once you see that puzzle in a shiny new box on the toy store shelf, that frustration reduces to a dim memory. All the frantic juggling you’ve done was worth it the effort. And you can enjoy the moment. Until the next time.

I’m hoping to get that point again soon, after I’ve clambered out of this purgatorial pit. For now, I’m going to let Father’s Day distract me. Tomorrow, back to ascending the Sisyphean slope.