I'd have to say the editing I'm doing is more like cleaning. I have some extensive rewriting to do on the ending of A Fly on the Wall and yet I'm concentrating on fixing the typos and assorted other errors. I claim it is because it gives me a framework with which to think about what I might do.
Mostly, it lets me put it off a bit longer as I haven't decided the direction it would take.
The current ending is completely logical, but too pat, too feel-good, and much too convenient for my liking. It feels tacked on, and in many ways it was. I wanted to finish the story so it could simmer and then I could get to fixing it up.
I'd like it to be a reasonably happy conclusion with a wee dram of edge to keep readers from being too comfortable. All I have to do is sort out how to do it.
Here are two sentences from a chapter I edited a few days ago:
"He sat quietly as he had been directed. The mirror had been told to be quiet as well, but no one was willing to guarantee that would happen."
And from what I read about the habits of the American Goldfinch:
"Though bathing is less frequent that preening, it is also an important part of feather maintenance. It provides an additional means of keeping the feathers clean and may also be important for skin care."
- Wild Bird Guides American Goldfinch, by Alex L.A. Middleton, (Stackpole Books 1998)
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