Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Joy and Pain of Editing by Kathleen Friesen

Some aspects of writing bring great joy. The thrill of “meeting” new characters, the little surprises they share as the story unveils, and the satisfaction of a story well told. Great stuff!

But editing? Um… Not quite as much fun. Necessary, of course, but oft times rather painful.

My dearly beloved and I recently moved from British Columbia to Saskatchewan, nearly 1200 miles, from a fully finished and landscaped home to a much smaller fixer-upper with thousands of yellow flowers instead of lawn. In preparation for our move, we spent months purging. Until remodelling is complete, our move took us from five bedrooms to one and a half (long story), a large, gorgeous kitchen to a small, dark one, and from a well-appointed shop for my husband to that yellow-dotted, otherwise-bare yard. So everything extra had to go.

Old clothes, extra copies of books, rarely used furniture—getting rid of them made sense. But some purging tugged hard on the old heartstrings. I’d spent years collecting books, fabric, and craft supplies. At least half had to go, and it wasn’t easy. I spent a long time reading and sniffling though the box of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day cards made for us by our children decades ago. I kept most of them. They didn’t take much room, after all. Some things are just too precious to discard.

Editing is pretty much the same as purging belongings. Some words and phrases are obviously extras. Surplus. Easy to let go. Others, our little darlings, wrap themselves around our emotions and (let’s be honest) egos.

But just as purging stuff becomes freeing, so does editing. The story shines brighter the tighter it gets, and you’ll find that many of those things you thought were necessities were actually weighing it down. So go ahead, slash those superfluous phrases, the telling words, the over-dramatic scenes. Let it go! Cuddle your darlings, those turns of phrases that caress your ear, and make the difficult decision. Do they enrich the story? Really? If so, pack them in bubble wrap and carry on. If not, say goodbye.

When you’re done, re-read the entire story. I’ll bet you love it even more. And if you need any ands, thes, or thats, I have plenty of extras hiding in my manuscripts.

Hearts Unfolding

Kennedy Rockwell enjoys pouring concrete for her family’s business, Rockwell Concrete Works, but dreams of branching out into her own landscape design venture. Strong and independent, she has the drive to achieve her goals. Romance can wait…until Austin Warner turns her emotions inside out.

Austin Warner works hard to fulfill his dreams, too, but the one closest to his heart is something he’s never really had: a family of his own. Kennedy Rockwell seems to be the answer to his prayers until a small complication brings huge consequences.

Challenges to their relationship and hurts from their pasts push Kennedy and Austin toward the only One who can give them the desires of their hearts.

Amazon Buy Link: Hearts Unfolding

Kathleen Friesen writes contemporary tales of faith that can overcome tough trials and deep heartaches. Her desire is for her readers to see themselves in the characters of her stories and to realize that Jesus Christ is the true hero for everyone, whatever their circumstances.

Kathleen and her amazingly patient husband recently moved back to Saskatchewan so they can spend more time with family in between renovations, landscaping and adventuring in new places.