As you may recall, I began the first edit of my work-in-progress, Tangled, in late April. My plan for this edit was to focus on the macro – i.e. to analyse the purpose and effectiveness of entire chapters and plot lines. To take a helicopter view, if you will.
Six weeks later, I’m not even half way through. Why? Well, aside from not devoting as much time to it as I should, I’ve been having real trouble staying in the helicopter. Whenever I sit down to edit, I remind myself to keep my focus broad. But before ten minutes has passed, I find myself re-writing individual sentences and mulling over the literary merits of ‘pondered’ versus ‘wondered’. Gah! Why do I do this?!
To be honest, I think I know why. I do it because it’s easier – for me, at least. Some people are naturally broad thinkers. Others, like me, are drawn to the minutia. If you give me an idea, I’ll immediately start thinking about the individual steps required to put that idea into action – when I should probably be concentrating on whether the idea itself has any merit.
I do the same thing with my writing. But I know there’s not much point in polishing a paragraph to perfection only to decide later than the entire chapter it resides in has to go. So I need your help. I need your advice on how to stay in the helicopter and focus on the forest, not the pattern in the bark of an individual tree. All suggestions will be gratefully considered! 🙂