“Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.”
- Groucho Marx
Editor J tells me some of my changes to Harbour View are a tad subtle.
Who, me? Subtle?
That sound you hear is the thud of heads dropping, as, one by one, my writers’ group members laugh them off. In the four, nearly five years we’ve been together, the women in my writers’ group have learned to be patient with my approach to editing a story. I’m sure it’s exhausting and at times exasperating for them, but for putting up with me they shall be rewarded with a higher place in heaven. My labour pains are theirs; they are the most generous writers on earth.
I edit with a light touch, taking a gradual approach to changes as a painter might with a lightening of hue, or by rendering a brush stroke bolder. It’s not that I can’t bear to part with my words. Many’s the time I’ve happily killed my babies and started from scratch, but not before whittling until I reach the point of no return. Starting small allows me to think things through and find a better way of saying them.
Editor J and I are getting there. I just hope I don’t wear him out.