Wednesday, May 9, 2012

10 More Lies You Might Tell Yourself While Editing

Last month, I shared my "10 Lies You Might Tell Yourself While Editing." However, brutal honesty forces me to confess that I've told myself many, many more half-truths (or fictional facts - let's call them fictional facts - 'lie' is such a judgmental word) over the past seven years.

Here are ten more. Confession is good for the soul.

10. You meant to write this scene three times. It's an important scene.

9. No one will notice that the location of the rooms in the house keep moving. Or that the meadow leaps from the south side to the north side. 

8. Your main character isn't an insufferable prig. He's just wise.

7. The jokes are funny. I know, I wrote them. I'm funny. I am, I am, I am. 

6. (If, like me, you write mysteries) It doesn't matter that any of your first readers haven't been able to solve the mystery.

5. It matters even less that they all say your solution comes out of left field. It's not unsolvable - it's incredibly clever.

DANGER! DANGER, Will Robertson!!

Back to our list...

4. You can't have too many colourful, quirky characters. More is more.

3. Oh look. You didn't write that scene (see #10)  three times, you wrote it four times. Wow. It's like Rashomon.

2. Your main character is in two places at once. Obviously, he/she has an identical twin.

And one big truth...

1. Any editing pass will go quicker with chocolate. out for crumbs.

Elspeth Antonelli is an author and playwright. Her latest mystery game,  "A Fatal Fairy Tale" was published in February. Her next game "Curiouser and Curiouser" will be published this month. All her murder mystery games and two plays are available through host-party.comShe has also contributed articles to the European writers' magazine Elias. Her blog, It's A Mystery, explores the writing process with a touch of humor. She is on Twitter as @elspethwrites

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  1. LOL. During the editing process I have to periodically pick up my keyboard and shake the pretzel crumbs out of it.

    And I did not write the same scene four times, only twice. (smile)

  2. Excellent post. Usually don't snicker before my morning coffee.

    Sent out a link to it on my blog. Thanks.

  3. Oh, oh, oh--I can personally attest to the One Big Truth!
    Thanks for the chuckle this morning :)

  4. Dang, you cited Rashomon, Elspeth ... I am impressed ... or was that a lie I just told myself?

  5. Traci; Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    Maryann; And now I want pretzels...

    scattered thoughts...; Morning snickering makes the day a bit brighter!

    Susan; You're welcome. Thank YOU for taking the time to let me know you liked it!

    Christopher; Great. Can open...worms everywhere.

  6. LOL -- honestly, I wrote those two identical scenes on purpose. I wanted to see if my critique group would catch it.

  7. A fave of mine: two similar scenes, different only in that you motivated your character differently in the rewrite and forgot to take out the duplicate scene—so first she acts one way, then another! Can you say "unreliable protagonist"? haha!

  8. At first I told myself the reader wouldn't notice what month it was or when it got light or dark, but then I buckled down and did a calendar for my manuscript, also looked up sunrise and sunset times for that particular state and month.

    Morgan Mandel

  9. Kathryn; Did you keep the first version or the second?

    Morgan; I've done the same thing. Not because I worried about readers thinking I was wrong, but because I WANTED to know I had the sun rising/setting at the correct time.

  10. Very good and so true. I've done some of those things! Thank goodness they're mostly caught during editing!


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