Adding IS Editing! How To Do It Well

Julie L.

Editing isn’t just about taking out; sometimes something needs to be added. Even old pros can inadvertently leave something out that isn’t recognized until “The End” has been typed and a re-read is in progress.

As newbies move into being more comfortable with storytelling, and gain confidence in writing, additions are always a possibility in the editing process.
So, just how do you go back and edit something in instead of taking it out? Highlighting and hitting the delete key is vastly easier than typing.
First off, you know all those Pinterest pins and browser bar bookmarks that have lists with titles like “The Top Ten Things EVERY Story MUST Have” or “The Five Things Every Author Can NOT Leave Out” and so on? Chuck them. Ignore they exist. For now.
I know you’re gasping because, quite frankly, you spent HOURS finding them! I know. I know. I’ve done the same. And they are not irrelevant. Just completely unrequired at this point. If I were to make a list of what I’m “supposed to” put into every story I write, just from Pinterest alone, I’m fairly certain that said list would rival Santa’s and perhaps circle the earth a time or two.
While all those bloggers and pinners are trying to be helpful, and may have 100% correct information, at this stage, when you are just finished and know that there’s a *something* missing, those posts and pins are useless.
Until you know what you need.
You have to be aware and know how to pick and choose what goes into your story, as well as what needs to be added. Just as you have thought long and hard about every piece you pulled out and threw away, you have to be just as careful on what to add.
Just what is your story? Why did you write it? What is its purpose? Are you aiming for a  romantic comedy or a thriller? Are you female heavy in characters, evenly split, or mostly dudes? Do kids make rare appearances, or is it all YA? Are you trying to be happy, sad, thoughtful, serious, scary? Does your story happen in a three-day time period, or does it cover centuries? Speaking of centuries, are you trying to write a historical that sounds historical?
Why does this matter?


Read the entire article in the September 2018 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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