Sunday, March 9, 2014

Editing is Hell

The image that keeps occurring to me, as I work on Dragon Prey, is of Hawkeye Pierce in the surgical tent on MASH with blood up his arms and smeared across the front of his scrubs with his hands buried in the abdomen of a wounded soldier. I'm not sure if the patient is going to make it.

Yes, it's a bit melodramatic, but that's the way it goes. I'm getting all turned around in the story and questioning everything. I'm tying myself in knots, but I think I'll be okay as long as I keep what I'm considering the spine of the story intact. I'm questioning the value of certain characters and entire scenes, but that's the window dressing.

I remind myself of that cruel writer's adage "Murder your darlings." (And I just went down a little Google rabbit hole while searching that quote. Slate has an interesting article.) So, while I'm not contemplating anything suicidal like Naomi's death or Tavik's, I'm contemplating hard choices and wondering if I can do it.

Cheery stuff, right? Sorry, I don't want to be a downer. I hope to have some happier progress to report next week.

4 comments :

Anonymous said...

Best of luck to you! You will figure it all out and it will be wonderful :)

S.A. Hunter said...

Aw, thank you! I'm feeling more optimistic, but then again, I haven't worked on it today. :-P

Sarah Pauley said...

I've actually killed off some of my characters I made for fan fictions before. Most of the time it makes me cry even writing it, but sometimes if it's good for the overall plot ya gotta do what ya gotta do. I've done it for a couple or original stories too.

S.A. Hunter said...

Hi Sarah,

Yeah, killing off characters can be traumatic, but if the events are creating a strong emotional reaction in you then you're probably writing a really good scene and giving the character his/her due. I'm thinking about erasing some characters from existence which can get tricky. Will keep plugging away at it.