Sunday, January 18, 2009

Takes a hell of a lot of people to edit a book

Since August, the die-hards of Novel-Writing-Boot-Camp II have met once a week and read approximately twelve minutes of manuscript. It beats as the heart, and veins through as an integral part of the creative phase. Mere words cannot express the admiration and appreciation each has of the other four who serve up their personal Thursday evenings with faithfulness and fearlessness. Yes, we skipped the week of Christmas, but no, we did not skip the week of Thanksgiving, just met on Tuesday; we couldn’t let loose of the characters whose lives are evolving before us.

It can be very intimidating to read your work out loud, and even when you become accustomed to it, a particularly sensitive part can diminish your voice to a whisper. Spoken word hides nothing. It lays you bare: heart, soul, essence. Creative talent either excels or is found lacking, and members, who remain true to the art, communicate direction in words that are both sincere and kind, but direct. How we respond mirrors our own character, strong and relentless, uncertain and questioning, or certain not to be deterred from our course to write, edit and publish. If luck prevails one is immersed in the most intense AHA experience that surfaces the writer on the other side of mediocre, to an idea or concept that is really, really good. I can point to the paragraphs, or scenes that have benefited from the ears of my novel editing shipmates. Two heads are better than one, and five is just about perfect.


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