the importance of being edited

Lately I've been baffled by under-edited books. Sometimes stories really do need another edit; it's Truth. I’ve read fully published books that feel more like first draftsand unless you're a writing profesh, there's a pretty good chance your first draft sucks. And probably your second. Maybe even your third.

Embarrassing example: In my main writing focus (which was my first EVER), my MC didn't develop a palpable personality until the fourth or fifth draft. (They were all partials, but DANG.) She had her hints of wit and pinches of personality, but mostly it was just me trying to put a book together by writing out some kind of immense manifesto. But that's also how I got to know my characters and whittle them out. Like tiny wooden bear figurines, obvs.

It's important to get that massive over-detailing out of your system, if only so you learn how NOT to write, and so the words you've already written can be inspiration in laterbetterdrafts; that's the point where page-long descriptions and the vast majority of adjectives should get cut down (and hopefully characters develop personalities). Oh. And it's really okay for characters to purely "say" things. They don't always have to "agree" or say "angrily" or "carefully" . . . or is all of that just from MY past drafts? It's totally possibly. Make sure it doesn't happen to your final drafts by EDITING! And then EDITING some more!

Last thing (which I'm sort of stealing from my creative writing class): Dialogue’s an awesome way to show readers what the story's trying to say. It avoids over-explanationand the readers going, "Oh my Calliope, muse of epic poetry; I GET it."

Happy writing! Please don't punch me (if you actually read this)!

*ALSO! It's mine and Harpy Layla's one-year anniversary. I hear a margarita being blended tonight!

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