Editing is Hard Work

I’ve been plowing my way through a freebie book. It’s the typical supernatural thriller type that seems to have rained from the heavens with steady rhythm over the last decade (of which only a handful are truly well done, in MHO) and I’m struggling. The story is okay, the characters are okay, but the author keeps bouncing in and out of flashbacks in a manner I find disconcerting.

It feels unnecessary.

Did the author forget to start the story where he wanted to tell it? In this case he apparently wanted to start two months previously, but didn’t. Why? I dunno. Now he’s shoving all of that crap into flashbacks, interspersed with current events and it feels like a lot of work for me (as the reader) to keep track of and organize.

On a personal note, I know I don’t like flashback sequences, so maybe this is just my warble and grunt.

If I have to work too hard as the reader…I don’t. I admit it. I’m lazy when it comes to my entertainment. It’s my entertainment after all. There are times I’m willing to say, “Yes!” and chuck reality out the window, suspend disbelief, and embrace the most irrational of stuff. To be fair, and this is patently unfair because my willingness to do this changes with the tides and sometimes more often, I’m not feeling it today.

The farther I trudge down this reading and writing path, the more I realize all the great advice people have written over the years, applies. It really does. And it’s not all that difficult to figure it out. The hard part is applying it. I’ve spent the last two weeks avoiding my current WIP because I’ve reached a point in the editing where I don’t want to have to work to fix the issues.

I know there are problems. They’ve been hard to pinpoint because they’re nitpicky things, but they bother me. They need fixing.

Instead I write flash fiction and spend a week traveling all over hell and Texas…oops…they’re the same, right? But the work is still sitting there, in the back of my mind waiting for me to quit shilly-shallying and get back on the hobby horse.

I’ve used the excuse that I’m letting it sit and stew – which is true, but mostly it’s because I don’t want to have to face the fact that I’ve got some sloppy hard work to do in whacking the story into better form. Once it’s done I’ll be happier, the story will be better, and I’ll be pleased – but right now…bleh.

Tomorrow’s the day I get ‘er done. Pinky swear.

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