Welcome to The Land of Editville
Now that all but the last few sentences that make me truly comfortable with typing "THE END" have been written it's time to enter the place that some writers fear, while others dance into it gleefully....EDITS.
Depending upon the day, the phase of the moon, and if I made a good beverage choice or not, I could go either way.
For some editing consists of them simply running a spell/grammar check, making whatever corrections it suggests, and as far as they're concerned, the story is done. Now, if you're a high school student who's planning on studying something other than English, Journalism or Literature once you're in college, then by all means, you can move on to your next assignment and put this puppy to bed.
But, if that's not you, then you have a few additional steps between typing "The End" that first time and truly reaching "THE END."
This week I'm focusing on the first thing one should do when entering Editville: "Close Writing"
Close writing is when you read through your current story and fill the gaps that you missed while writing your first draft.
Close Writing allows you to really go through the story and find all those little spots that you told yourself to remember to fix or fill in, and do just that. You're not adding to the plot. You're reading through the story with the mindset to locate any portion of text or the story itself that's "missing."
Don't think I don't see
that look on your face.
Have you ever read a story, and lets say the main character is having dinner with friends. They're sitting at the table and everything is great. Then less than five sentences later, they're at home watching television and wondering how the dinner went to hell in a handbasket so fast?
It's clear to you, as a reader that something happened at the dinner. But you have no idea what....even after you've read further into the story hoping that the author would clue you in, you're lost.
Close writing is when you as a writer go back into your story and locate instances such as this and flesh them out. It's not that you don't have something to go into those blanks spots. It's that life and unwanted phone calls at the worse possible moment happens. You meant to write something there. You thought that you had written something there. But you got distracted by whatever, and forgot to put that additional information in.
In other words, go back through what you've written and make sure that what you think is there, is actually...THERE.
You may need to read portions of your story aloud to find these instances. But the HOW of locating them isn't as important as actually locating them.
Fill them with your awesome story.
And prep yourself for the next stop in Editville.
Next stop...Basic Edits!