When to stop editing

WordsThe idea for “Dreamcatcher” was born from a short-story challenge in my critique group. Each of us wrote a person/thing and a location/place on paper, then folded it to hide the secret. We pulled the various-shaped papers from a container, like drawing names for Christmas gifts. I unfolded the page and stared. “Albino Indian” and “Deadwood, South Dakota stared back, defying me to conquer that challenge.

I posted the colorful stationary page on the bulletin board next to my computer. I glanced at it dozens of times over the next months without a hint of inspiration. One day, fingers poised over the keyboard, I had an Aha! moment, and the story emerged. The basic beginning, middle, and end flowed together.  I read it at the critique group the next December. Yes, they liked my story, however they reminded me that the three rules to improve writing are edit, edit, edit!

Months later, the moment arrived when I confidently submitted it to the California Writers Club Tri-Valley Branch members-only anthology. The first rounds were read and critiqued anonymously. What? It needs more edits? Doesn’t the review committee understand that I’m a copy editor. Besides, “Dreamcatcher” has been edited half a dozen times.

After revising to include the committee’s concerns, “Dreamcatcher” made the final cut. I’ll be one of the readers featured at the book launch this week. As I read the story aloud in preparation, I skip a word and inject new words. It’s then I realize my story isn’t finished—only published.

Voices of the Valley Encore
 
 
California Writers Club Tri-Valley Branch Book Launch
Voices of the Valley: Encore
January 25, 2014
2:00 p.m.
Towne Center Books
555 Main  Street
Pleasanton, California USA

 

Click HERE to peek inside this anthology on Amazon.

 

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1 Comment

Filed under Blogging, Editing, Reading, Writing

One response to “When to stop editing

  1. Good thing editing is such fun, right? By the way, I enjoyed your reading at the last CWC meeting and look forward to hearing you again tomorrow. It’s a great story.

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