Monday, June 11, 2012

Mr. King trades punches with Father Time

...edit work can be enjoyable if not swallowed whole.  Any attempt at cramming the entire process into a 24-hour marathon session in order to make one's deadline, will only create further migraines, (literally,) and a finished product that will mirror the quality of work that was put into it. 

So says my editor..

His advice? While trudging through the pains of edit work and re-writes, allow some spare time to read something...anything, from one of the greats.  It may be a sacrifice, but one worth gambling on.  For that book, whatever is chosen, be it good, or not so much, may in fact guide one's re-write along the journey as if holding one's hand while crossing a busy intersection.  

Lingering doubts?  Trust me, it works ;)

My choice for reading material while editing "The Fall," is Stephen King's "11/22/63," an eight hundred page monster that asks the question, "what if you really could go back and undo the past, armed with the knowledge of our future?" 

Would it be possible to re-write a wrong?  To change the world as we know it?  Or would that only restructure the inevitable?

After all, as rumor has it, the past doesn't want to change...

And sometimes, if cornered, it bites back.

Enjoy King's interview, and ask yourself, if it were possible to go back, just once, what would you change?  Think about it...    



E.J. Wesley said...

That's a great question, Elliot. I try to never think in those terms. Move forward. Always. That's my preferred mindset. If could change something, I suppose I'd try to prevent a childhood injury to my brother. He was badly burned and I'd like for that not to have happened.

As for the editing thoughts, you're 100% right about taking it in bites. I try to address one significant thing with each passing. Trying to do too much all at once just overwhelms me.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I started that same book by Mr. King, but it looked more and more like things were going to end badly for the protagonist. I left it to re-read DUMA KEY by Mr. King, my favorite of his books.

But your editor is right. Read another book while you're editing your own. It gives you breathing space and perspective. He is a wise man, Roland

T. Drecker said...

Editing all at once just makes for bad edits. The brain needs think pauses and new inspirations inbetween time.
But sorry, I'd pass on the King. I love his writing - but I'm a total chicken and just give myself nightmares (and that at my age - not impressive, I know)

Elliot Grace said...

Hey E.J, that would indeed be a worthy set of circumstances for going back ;)

Hey Roland, I'm pushing the 500 page mark, and yes, our hero has found himself knee deep in the curd.

Duma Key is an excellent read. An island just off the Florida gulf, running parallel with Nokomis, King's winter home. He's often been spotted walking the sands down there as his hometown up north digs itself out of another Perfect Storm ;)

Hey T, thus far 11/22/63 hasn't kept me up at night, but with 300 pages yet to turn, the tides may shift ;)


Carolyn V said...

I can't edit all at once. It's too much of an ordeal. And Stephen King is an amazing writer. Great choice. ;)

Elliot Grace said...

Hey Carolyn, agreed, he's a modern day legend ;)


DEZMOND said...

reading classics could be a medicine for anything, not just for editing :)

Elise Fallson said...

Doing edits all in one go sounds crazy, I think my brain would melt. Definitely good advice to take it in bite size morsels. And Steven King is one of my favorite authors too. There are lots of things I'd want changed from my past, but changing the past changes the future and I'd be afraid of creating a negative impact on my children.

The Golden Eagle said...

That's a thought-provoking question. So many possibilities--but what would be worth traveling back in time to do? Without making an even worse mistake?

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

It is a thought-provoking question. I might go back in time and make it so that my parents ever met. I realize that would "unmake me" and create a paradox. But truthfully, their life together has been miserable and destructive. I think it would have been better for the both of them if they had never met. And I (being an atheist) would never know the difference because I wouldn't exist.

Catherine Noble said...

I like the idea of reading a well-written book whilst editing. The thought of editing a whole book in 24 hours, however, makes me break out in a cold sweat!

Thanks for the Steven King video, I love him :)

Morgan said...

One of my faults is that I tend to reflect on the past... a lot... my memories of things are so magical, so yeah, I'd love to go back. I'm trying to be better about living in the now... writing has actually helped me with that--in focusing on my present writing goals and sticking to them, moving on regardless of rejection, etc.

And fantastic advice from your editor... I'm SO going to do that. :)

You rock, Elliot... I really enjoyed this post!

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