Editing is an essential part of the journey for any writer. It’s the stage I’m at with my work in progress, and so has been a bit of a theme on the blog recently. I’ve discussed questions you should ask yourself while editing, as well as sharing my step-by-step editing method. It’s not always easy to stay motivated during editing, so I thought I’d share 5 quotes to spur you on. Take a look…
“You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you, and we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.” – Arthur Plotnik
I love the imagery of this. The idea that your burning passion spills in a haze of smoke, and editing banishes enough of the smoke to reveal the fire. It’s perfect!
“No author dislikes to be edited as much as he dislikes not to be published.” – J. Russell Lynes
Personally, I really enjoy the editing process, but for those of you who don’t, think of this one. You should never send your first draft to an agent or publisher, they need to see you’ve worked on the story beyond the initial spill of ideas. And if you dislike editing, compare it to how it would feel to not be published. Perhaps a harsh reasoning, but true nonetheless.
“Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.” – Stephen King
Perhaps one of the most known editing quotes. King’s advice of ‘kill your darlings’ is a wound to every writer. In my first novel, it was this quote that gave me the push needed to delete a scene I adored, but that added nothing to the novel. Sometimes, you have to cut scenes or characters, even if you like them, to avoid slowing down the pace of your story.
“The first draft is black and white. Editing gives the story color.” – Emma Hill
Another beautiful one now. How glorious to think of editing as adding colour to a black and white page. And it’s true isn’t it? The first draft is raw, and real, and flawed, and the edits breathe life into it and make it glisten.
“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.” – Dr Seuss
A fun one to end the list! Dr Seuss is a genius with words, and with this quote he drums home the importance of them. This is a fantastic reminder that sometimes, less is more, and using words that aren’t needed damage the writing far more than it enhances it.
Do you have any editing quotes to share? If so, please drop them in the comments below.
P.P.S – Click here for some inspiring quotes on writing.