Monday, March 23, 2009

Report on the Condition of the Inner Editor

I'm in the first stages of a very rough edit/restructuring of my novel, which means I switch a lot between writing new scenes and editing previously written scenes. This is like constantly crossing the border between the Creative Country of Associative Anarchists (where the road signs say things like "Beware Falling Carousels" and "Sudden Death/Life Possible," or they just consist of almost-identifiable, Rorschach-like silhouettes) and the forever war-torn Republic of Correction-Fluid ("Plot-holes Ahead," "Cliches Kill," "Just Say 'No' to Double Negatives," "Rogue Commas Will be Shot on Sight," and endless miles of red ink as tiny factions of prescriptionists and descriptionists and 6th grade English teachers wriggle through the mud, trying to claim a particular molehill).

This sort of right-brained/writing vs. left-brained/editing is oversimplified (I certainly need my left-brain to write). But I'm no longer in a job where I keep the Chicago Manual of Style closer than my cup of tea, so I'm starting to feel nervous. I'm losing that grammatical shine I used to apply so liberally to other writers' work. (I feel this loss most distinctly when I re-read my blog posts...)

I needed a bit of snarkiness to make me feel better about my dying skills, so today I spent some time over at Testy Copy Editors and The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks.

I laughed so hard that I decided my inner editor can't be completely dead--she just needs a little company.


  1. I had a good laugh, with these!
    I "think" my "favorite" was the "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks.

  2. Yeah, that was my favorite too--Testy Copy Editors is fun, but more "shop talk" and, well, testiness.