Thursday, 2 April 2009

Editing

Editing. What is it like? To what shall I compare it?

It’s like photoshopping your rather poor and out of focus photographs – you blur a bit here, sharpen up a bit there, make the colours in this part of the image more intense, bleed those out a bit so they’re a little more opaque…

It’s like doing a jigsaw where there’s no picture to follow and the blocks of apparently quite distinct colours aren’t actually distinct at all but turn out to be mingled in all sorts of unexpected ways.

It’s like doing one of those puzzles that are made up of eight tiles in a frame of nine spaces that force you to move one tile at a time in order to get everything to line up and make sense.

It’s laborious, it’s creative, it can be immensely frustrating, it messes with your head but, ultimately, it’s the difference between having a good idea and writing a book that actually works.

5 comments:

David Isaak said...

I'm tempted to compare editing one's own drafts to masturbation and editing with an editor to sex with a partner, but I can't quite work out how to put it.

Tim Stretton said...

David, if that's the case, Will has some serious issues...

Alis said...

Hi David - I don't think you need to put it any better than that!

Hi Tim - poor guy....

KatW said...

I feel your pain! Editing can be mind bending. Wishing you editing stamina & joy. Kat :-)

Alis said...

Hi Kat - thanks very much. Stamina definitely running out... still, has to be done by next Thursday, a) because I've promised my editor and b) because we're going to Cardiganshire to spend EAster with my parents.