Saturday, 2 October 2010

Edit, edit, edit -it-or I will beeeee.

There's only one thing holding me back from my writing... it's my editing.
Stephen King, in his autobiographical writing guide On Writing, said "to write is human, to edit is divine". Okay, a play on Pope's "to err is human, to forgive is divine", but true nonetheless. It has become a mantra that haunts me, inasmuchas it will never allow me to let go of a piece of work and say those all important words THE END.
At my writers group recently, Ushabti was critiqued. Stage or radio... but not telly, I was told. Too much dialogue. One member of the group said that people don't talk like that...OUCH! Although I didn't flinch, and smiled back at him, inwardly I sulked for a couple of weeks. He was right. I looked at it again, using my ears, not my eyes. That's the problem for me. Read a script, you use your eyes and absorb the writing. People do indeed write like that, but they do not talk like that.
So what was wrong? Long sentences, too many long sentences. Unless you're a newsreader, preacher, politician or double glazing salesman, you do not speak in long sentences.
Good lesson learned. I listen to my characters. Their voices are in my head. I've told them they'd better shape up or else.
I have written yet another version of Ushabti... a radio play, and removed the TV version off this blog. That's all I've got to say for now... or is it? Maybe I'll come back and edit this post.