Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Packing = Editing

I am nearing the end of my freshman year of college. It's insane how fast it's gone. Have I mentioned that before? I've been sending stuff from my dorm home with my parents over the past few weeks so that when it comes time for the official moving out, I have less I need to pack.

And I've noticed a similarity between packing and editing. Part of editing is making sure your novel only contains what it needs. Sure, you may leave in a few other moments to add feeling or flesh something out, but in the end, there are a few things you need. The same can be said of packing.

Most of the shoes I brought with me are now home, as are my microwave, label maker, many books, and sweatshirts. I have, however, kept my fridge, printer, and vacuum. I kept all the things I need.

So when it comes to packing editing your novel, make sure to take out everything that isn't needed. Extraneous characters, scenes that might be dear to you, but don't further the plot. And lines like "Die puny humans!" which is actually in the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini.

Well, back to packing!

1 comment:

  1. Hahaha. Is that line seriously in there? I'm surprised his editors didn't casually point to it and politely ask if there might be another way to phrase that.

    Good point about the similarity, though! The challenge in packing, as with editing, is to recognize what you don't need and discard it, and resist the temptation just to put everything in boxes because you can't bear the thought of parting with it and/or can't bother with the effort to sort through it all.