and the edits continue

Have you ever had one of those perfect moments? You think, “Nothing could beat this…I wouldn’t change a thing.” Then a little time goes by and you glance at the photos from that perfect moment to realize the black eyeliner you thought was stylish actually made you look like a rabid raccoon. Or the over-sprayed hair that could withstand the gale force winds of a hurricane reminds you of a giant space helmet on your head. Or worse than that, someone else looks at your old pictures and tells you how bad you really looked on prom night.

Fashion is a fickle friend.

But I’m not talking about fashion (I don’t even look at those old pictures of me if I can avoid it) I’m talking about words.

More specifically, I’m talking about my book, To Katie with Love.

I find it almost painful when I realize the words I was married to, chained to like an activist to a tree, have to go. (Or words I never thought of need to go in.) Oh, it's not so bad, really…the story is amazing (if I do say so myself) but any story can easily be hidden by the over-use of words…sort of like the beauty hiding under a layer of black eyeliner and hairspray. And sometimes, after several rounds of edits, those words you ditched for whatever reason need to come back to solve a mystery you accidentally left unsolved. So, once again, I’m taking Katie back to her natural state, stripping away some of the make-up that takes away from her beauty, and adding back some bits I took out last time I edited. I like to think of it as giving her a literary boob job.

And trust me when I say, don’t let anyone convince you to write a book without a good editor. You will never be willing to part with the things you really don’t need without someone holding your hand along the way…or rather dragging you by the hand along the way. I've been blessed with several wonderful editors in this process (my newest editor is about to put me back to work, and I'm both traumatized and excited to do it.)

Don’t ever let anyone tell you the creative process is a simple one. Oh, it’s worth every drop of blood, sweat, or tears along the way…but it’s not easy.

But neither is anything worth going after.

Until the next time…I’ll be editing!

Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.
Posted on January 9, 2013 .