Tuesday, September 13, 2011

10 Lies You Might Tell Yourself While Editing

10. The front door changing colour half way through the manuscript is obviously symbolic.

9. Strangely, the same symbolism seems to be at work with the colour of your protagonist's hair.

8. The three afternoons on one Wednesday explains why Wednesday seems so long.

7. The best friend that you thought was funny and wise actually comes across as snide and self-absorbed.    Some people are snide and self-absorbed. You're writing realistic characters.

6. Every character expresses surprise in the same way. Obviously you chose this to demonstrate that we're all the same inside.

5. The sagging of pace in the middle is compensated by the rushing of the ending.

4. You can't have too many "that"s.

3. No one will notice the giant plot hole. You didn't notice it when you were writing it.

2. That extreme coincidence which helps your protagonist leap to the necessary conclusion could really happen. It could. It could, it could, it could.

1. You'll be finished editing by the end of the week.


  1. Elspeth - Yes, those are most definitely things we tell ourselves when we're editing. I know I have. And then there's that other lie: that character who has two names is obviously an undercover agent or in the Witness Protection Program. What could be more logical?

  2. All good reasons -- and this is probably why I read each day's output that night and try to catch them in small bits and hope I can avoid adding more of the same dumb things.

    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

  3. Margot; YES!!

    Terry; Gracious, you *are* efficient! Good for you.

  4. Have you been watching over my shoulder and listening to me mumbling to myself as I edit?

    Thank you for the enjoyable post.


  5. Karen; You're welcome. Thank YOU for taking the time to leave a comment!

  6. Also, your mc's parents stay in the kitchen for the whole novel - which spans two years. Well, it's the heart of the house right?

  7. "You can't have too many 'that's."

    That's exactly right. (Hey, I'm here all week!)

    And hey, what ever happened to that family you introduced back in chapter three? (By "you" I mean "me", of course. Or "I", actually.)

  8. Elisa; That family obviously moved away. Or...they're spies and undercover. This means both the possibilities of intrigue or madcap high jinks.

  9. I firmly believe in #1. I've said so on my blog.

    And I said it last week too.

  10. So very true. Sad ... but true. Especially #1. My first MS had a coincidence so large that taking it out destroyed the book. Good learning experience - even though it was sooooooooo hard to learn!

  11. Haha! Three afternoons on a Wednesday! I've done that before...

  12. I think #3 is my favorite. Mostly because it's SO true. *LOL*

  13. So funny, and so TRUE!! This list is priceless.


Please leave a comment as I love to hear from you!