Friday, April 5, 2013

E is for...

Editing.


I have been writing Death Becomes Us since January of 2009.  First I did research and immersed myself in the world of people who work with death  I met with an EMT and a coroner and a crime scene cleaner and some EMTs and a hospice nurse and a grief counselor and a death row inmate and a warden and a prison chaplain on death row and it was all very nice and I turned it in as my MFA thesis in 2010.

Once I finished school, I began to submit my proposal to agents.  (I suffer from premature submission,not obsessive compulsive editing, if you really want to know the truth.) One agent liked my voice but wanted the book to be more of a journalistic exploration into the professions of death workers. In other words, more about them, and less about me.  At this time, I realized that this book wasn't really about the people I was writing about.  Yes, they were important, but the journey was really about what happened to me--a middle aged woman with very little experience with death--when I started paying attention to it.  I will be the first to admit that some very weird, out there stuff began to happen.  It was like the universe was just putting stuff in front of me that worked so well for the narrative arc that I was like "NO WAY!"  And the universe was like "WAY."

Years passed. 2011, 2012.  I didn't even want to look at it.  I continued writing, but I couldn't see where it was going.  But now I do.  And now I'm breaking that sucker down into small little manageable chapters that I can spit shine and polish and submit to an editor on April 20th.  I really want to be traditionally published because that feels more like acceptance and love than the self publication route, but if I have to do it myself, I will.  I owe it to the people I wrote about.  Their stories are important.  My story is important.

Editing sucks.

Hey, guess what?  I'm bringing "Monday Mournings" back in May. No, not the TV show, my blog posts.  I need people to interview about their experience of death.  If you search on this blog for "Monday Mournings" you can see these posts.  The questions are simple.  Lots of people read them.  It drives traffic to your blog.  And it's beneficial to talk about death.  Heck, NPR just had a post on this very topic.

So, want to volunteer to be interviewed?  Pretty please with a cherry on top!


16 comments:

  1. Editing sucks. I find it so difficult and it's often where I realise my story isn't as tight as I thought, as it falls like grains of sand through my fingers. It's great you haven't gotten disheartened or given up though. You know this book is meant to be published, and won't stop until it is. I admire that so much. I wish you all the luck in the world, and know one day I'll be buying your book from Amazon!

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    1. Thank you, Clare. I appreciate that.

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  2. LOL, love that picture! Editing isn't so bad - I guess. I cuss at myself most during the writing part.
    Dani @ Entertaining Interests
    #warriorminion

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    1. I don't mind the writing part so much. It's the rewriting that I have a problem with. I have to kill so many darlings and I always have tense issues. Ugh.

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  3. Actually I find editing more uncomfortable to talk about than death... And I had to drop in on your blog on this day, lol!

    I'm still trying to find a way to take the sucking out of editing...

    http://ltwilton.com

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    1. Yeah, I find editing way more uncomfortable than talking about death.

      I think chocolate and wine take a bit of the sucking out of editing:)

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  4. I have no problem editing myself and deleting a pretty sentence that says nothing. I do sigh as it gets dumped though. Interestingly, I've learned diplomatic skills through editing others.

    Take 25 to Hollister
    Don't be a Hippie

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    1. I find that looking at other people's work is one of the greatest tools about how to become a better writer. I find that things I pick on are the things I need to work on myself.

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  5. Edit away because we all want a copy of the finished product. Glad you're bringing back Monday Mournings..btw my cousin Daniel works on the show so I regularly tune into both!

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    1. Really? That's very cool. I haven't watched it, but maybe I should. Nobody volunteered, so there may be a delay in its comeback:(

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  6. That great that the book is making a comeback. I'm with you though, editing sucks! :)

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  7. I've never reached the point where a rough draft was to be rewritten or edited, but the process scares me. I've come to find I don't mind editing my blog posts, but these are simply spelling/grammar things. Nothing like changing large chunks of story. That will drive me nuts.

    Good luck with the editing and submitting!

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    1. Yes, it will drive anyone nuts. Thank you!

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  8. I hope you get the edits done on schedule. It's wonderful when the light bulb clicks on and we know where we're going with our book/s.

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    1. I do know the end. I just have to get there in a way that is satisfying to the reader. I will be so glad when I'm done with it!

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Comments are welcome and appreciated!