Editing as gardening
Slogging through the line edits for the second novel.
“Line edits” are the places in a manuscript (or in the early drafts of a news story; remember, I come out of journalism) in which the editor suggests nixing a word or two from this sentence and adding a word or two to that one. It’s literally the line-by-line editing.
I’m very fortunate. My editor at St. Martin’s is marvelous and he has a wonderful eye for spotting the non-essential stuff that slides into my prose.
The other kind of editing, the more substantive stuff, I will get to next. But for now, think of what we’re doing as literary gardening. Watering the vegetables, pulling out the weeds.
It’s not the fun part of writing. It’s the vitally essential part.