Last night I did an overflight of all the work I want to edit before New Year’s. I looked at common structural patterns and did a thinking-on-paper journal bout laying out what they are. Our old nemesis the inner Editor comes in for some bad press, but now that the first draft is down, I am making use of the Inner Editor in a useful way, by chatting with it. Here’s a sample transcript.
Inner Editor: You are a terrible writer.
Me: So what are my writerly vices?
Inner Editor: Well, those openings are really baggy and talky. You do attributed dialogue instead of letting the characters speak for themselves.
Me: So what part do you like?
Inner Editor: Endgame, when you finally get your act together, it’s action packed.
(I realize that I have assimilated some of my buddy Devin the Ruthless, who pretty much did the developmental edit on Lost Pissarro)
Me: So I should edit starting from the end, and rebuild the opening so it sets up the endgame.
Inner Editor: yeah, that sounds like a good strategy. Do an outline, too. Figure out the juicy bits in the endgame, and set ’em up like the punchline of a joke.
Me *scurries off to get some work done*