Monday, September 15, 2014

For The Sake of the Story

There is pain in editing. Pain in the cutting.

It is not an easy thing to take what is already dear to you and change it. Sometimes you have to throw away ideas or plots that you liked, passages you loved, and it’s all done for the sake of the story.

That thought can be carried with you into life as well. Sometimes there are things we need to change or cut out for the sake of our story.

I write this because it is what I am forced to deal with now as I edit my novel.

Unfortunately, changing one thing, however small, can have an effect on the whole story. Soon other beloved passages, chapters, or plot points are disappearing, ones you never wanted to leave.

It can be devastating, even heartbreaking. But in this industry your heart needs to break (that’s why they invented query letters).

Whenever you change something though, you hope it will make your story better and stronger.

The process of editing allows you to keep enough distance from your work so that you can view it objectively. You cannot be married to it.

If you don’t edit your book, it’s like finding the first girl or guy you meet on the street and then asking them to be your husband or wife. What could you possible know about them? Well, the same goes for your story.

Editing vets your story just as communication vets your future spouse. Before you can say, “I do,” you must edit (the book).

There lies the pain. Though it is difficult, you must always remember, always tell yourself this one little fact: it’s for the sake of the story.


  1. Proud of you for being able to be that objective. I know it is very painful.

  2. Love this post! Great analogy. We edit our lives to make our story better, stronger, more useful, just MORE. :)

  3. Thanks for the comment, Grace. That's what life is - a living edit.