Strangely, editing my not-yet-rough-draft of the new novel on a commuter flight from St. Louis to Chicago turned out to be tough. And editing in the center seat on a 747 to London turned out to be tougher. So I’m back at my desk, finishing up the work to turn this hot mess into a first draft that won’t make me want to kill myself. Picture my office: ankle deep with 450 scattered, typewritten pages scrawled with red corrections. There’s so much red ink it looks like Scream 5 was filmed in here.
To give you an idea of what I’m doing, here’s a hot-stinking-mess paragraph:
The water poured cold around her legs, cacophonous, bitterly cold. Her jeans clung to her. Her running shoes were sodden. She shivered and half-ran, half-swam across the river, grabbing every breath she could, wondering if each one would be the last. She’d lost track of time, and it felt like a pendulum had wound around her chest and begun to tighten.
And here’s the revised paragraph:
The current grabbed at her legs. The cold bit. She braced herself.
Yes, I’ve reached the Strunk & White phase of editing: Omit needless words. Omit needless words. Omit needless words.
Back to it.