Editing Phoebe with Genghis Khan



Our Faith Writer conference began with a speech from David Ian, an actor/writer. He sent us into peals of laughter, accurately demonstrating the struggle between our Screaming Muse and Genghis Khan Editor.



The Screaming Muse is like a little child tugging at your pant leg. "Hey! Hey! I've got a good idea. Listen to this..." He pesters you while you at the most importune moments: at work, in a meeting, in the shower, in the middle of the night. Even when you want him to give you some creative thoughts on a topic, he insists on promoting his own ideas. Sometimes you have to lock him in the closet to get anything done.

Just when you finally are on a roll, with words filling the page, Genghis Khan the Editor peers over your shoulder. "Hey, that's not a complete sentence. You should use a better verb." It's hard to write anymore because you are worried about your grammar. That's when you have to let the Screaming Muse out and put Genghis Khan in the closet.



The last couple weeks, I've needed Genghis Khan. I've been pouring through my novel about Phoebe, getting it ready for the Operation First Novel with Christian Writers Guild. I entered it two years ago, (and didn't do very well) but I've learned more about writing since then. It's amazing how many words I can cut out of my writing and still keep the mood and voice. My first chapter has gone through a complete make-over. It's a challenge to insert vital details here and there, so the reader can still get the background information. I love adjectives, (and it shows in my writing) but they have to go...well some of then.

Even if I don't win the contest, this process is good for me and my story. The final product should be tighter and stronger. Every time I look through it, I find something else I can do to improve it. I wonder if famous authors ever look at their printed book and say, "Ugh, that sentence would have be better if I..."

October 1st is zooming closer and closer! If Genghis Khan keeps me too busy with his cracking whip, I may skip a day or so on my blog. If I disappear for more than a week, send out the cavalry. He may be conquering me.

Thanks for your patience and encouragement.

2 comments:

Dee Yoder said...

Go for it, Vonnie! And you can be sure we'll come looking for you if you disappear for more than a day or two. (:

T. Anne said...

Skip the blog if you must the true goal is publication, right?

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