[Photo: Paris? Italy? ...where I wish I was sitting and editing my WIP]
The edit will set you free... but first, it hurts.
I'm editing. I mean really pulling my words apart. Necessary right? But painful.
If you don't already have a copy of The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman, I recommend it. ABC's of writing, but you know what happens when you build on wet concrete, right? Foundational cracks will be the least of your problems. Try shaky walls on the fifty-seventh floor of your writing castle.
Interesting little exercise... if you dare.
Take out all the nouns and verbs on the first page of your WIP. List them all separately. Now write a less common replacement beside each word. Insert fresh nouns and verbs. Reread.
I thought common place and cliche were whole cities away from my work, and then I looked honestly at my writing and it would appear that common crept into the basement with handfuls of words.
Try the same exercise with adverbs and adjectives. Take them all out. Read your work without them. Still conveying major thoughts and themes? Yeah, thought so...
Re tile that basement, Tab.
It's amazing how picky you get about choosing robust nouns and verbs when you decide not to prop them up with adjectives and adverbs. Not saying all adverbs or adjectives should go, but the ones that stay need to plead their case before judge and jury.
List all the adverbs and adjectives that you think need to stay. Then find stronger ones.
Yeah... mine too.
Now, if I could just nail that damn first paragraph...
A massive thanks to Suzanne for her strength and honesty. We might make a writer out of me yet:)
What about you? What writing exercise has added to your WIP or possibly made you rethink the entire building process. Got any foundational cracks to share? Please? I cannot be the only one... right? right?.... please oh please...