Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Meat and Dessert Editing

Recently, while I was talking with a fellow Professional Writer, Katie Irons, she mentioned a particularly interesting illustration concerning editing. She told me that editing should be like polishing off a dinner plate. You start with the meaty parts first and finish with the dessert. This illustration stuck in my mind and now I am outpouring my thoughts on it.

I thoroughly agree with her. The "meaty parts" of her illustration concerns the first draft edit, which I am currently going through on a book of mine. The first draft edit is a run through to make sure everything fits. It is a test that the story is properly filled out and constructed. I have strayed from the method of first draft editing, though. I have added a scene and am struggling to tie it into the next. I believe that I should just make a note of that page and the issue therein and then move on. In this way, I can complete the entire first draft and then look at my list of details to fix for the desert part of my editing process.

Think about it. The dessert is often the most detailed part in a meal and it is typically reserved till the end. This is the same way with the finite details and the scene insertions and/or reworkings of editing. I believe that grammar falls under this section of the edit. There are so many details to grammar that if I looked for every grammatical error in the first draft it would take a really long time.

Overall, I believe the first part of an edit, the "meaty parts," should go quickly so that I can enjoy the dessert...okay, so maybe I won't enjoy it. I will enjoy the fact that it will be the last part of my self-editing process and that, dear reader, is sweet enough.


  1. I start with the macrocosm and end with the microcosm. Measure twice and cut one ;)

  2. Glad to be part of your inspiration! ^.^


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