Monday, August 31, 2009

Delete, delete, delete

Today I sing the praises of the humble delete key, that small but mighty key that has saved my sanity many times over.

I admit that I am a harsh judge of my own writing since you don't have to worry about hurting your own feelings. Everything is possible; from the harshest criticism (this entire section makes no sense - what were you smoking when you wrote this?) to bewildered amazement (holy crap, did I write this?) The wonder is thanks to that lovely key, all is fixable and no other eyes need see my horrible mistakes.

On a politically correct note, the delete key is good for the environment as I shudder to think of how many trees would have died meaningless deaths if editing or proofreading could only be done by holding a hard copy.

Perhaps we should call it not the 'delete key' but the 'try again' key. This works whether it's pertaining to huge chunks of a manuscript or a simple typo. 'Try again' reminds us that we have another chance and everyone wants that. I certainly do. One isn't allowed a 'delete, delete delete' in life, but thank the writing gods, we are all allowed a 'try again' in our work.


  1. I like the "try again" idea. Not sure it would fit on my laptop and still be readable (curses on tiny keyboards), but it certainly sounds better.

    Straight From Hel

  2. I also use my delete key a lot, Elspeth. As for those moments when you wonder who actually wrote the page/chapter you're reading, I had to laugh. It's almost creepy sometimes to realize you have no idea where this stuff is coming from.

  3. Oh, yeah, the delete key can fix a lot of problems. I saw a quotation somewhere that’s becoming one of my favorites. I think it’s by a big name author. To paraphrase…A pair of scissors is my best writing tool.

    Cutting is just a wonderful exercise. I can generally cut up to oh, 15 percent of what I’ve written the first couple of times around and not lose a thing. Fewer words forces you to be more clear and concise. So, yeah, I like to delete.

    Best Regards, Galen
    Imagineering Fiction Blog

  4. I love the name 'try again key'- it could perhaps be abbreviated as TA, and when we feel exceptionally warm towards it, we can just sing its name ta ta ta ta ta

    And the delete key is a very good friend of mine too. Just never thought of it till you made me.


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