In the Process _ Thoughts

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 presetThe editor I’m working with suggested a long time ago that I omit one of the characters. Not a scene, not a conversation, not a chapter, but a whole beginning-middle-end being. A fictional character that took thousands of words worth of descriptions, dialogue, themes and a death to idealize. This suggestion was made because, although the story is magical realism, this particular character extended so far into the realm of implausibility that she felt it pulled readers out of the story in a distracting, menacing way. I agree. I thought about her suggestions for a long time. It took months of deliberating alternatives to his story line before I deleted one word. Admittedly, I knew this reworking would be my most difficult task while here. But while writing yesterday, I realized how ridiculous it was to apply all suggestions to my work. While her edit was reasonable and definitely justified, the truth is if I worked with 5 different editors, I am almost sure they would suggest 5 different revised versions of the book. Maturity as a writer calls for knowing your story so well that you are able to recognize which edits work and which edits it’s okay to dismiss. I’ll be the first to tell you how long-winded my work can be. There are many things, as a writer, I wish were different about my writing. But also, as a writer, as the architect of this collective of words, I have the artistic right and responsibility to know which suggestions make that structure more sound, and which suggestions I can forego.

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