Posts Tagged editing techniques
“Write drunk; edit sober.”
The above quote is often attributed to Ernest Hemingway although there is no proof that he ever said it or that he ever wrote under the influence. I can see the benefit in allowing alcohol to chase away inhibition (and the voice of our inner self-editor) while getting the first draft down on paper but I’ve never tried working that way. Maybe some of you have?
Following wise advice from my agent, I am currently trying to edit my current work-in-progress into shape. It’s not easy and sometimes cake is required. Cake with a kick is even more welcome. I found Tipsy Apple Cake hit the right spot and here’s the recipe if you want to have a go.
130g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 tablespoons alcohol (I used whisky)
2 eating apples cut into small cubes
- Preheat oven to 180 C and grease/line a 23 cm cake tin.
- Mix flour and baking powder.
- Use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, combining thoroughly.
- Add the vanilla essence and alcohol and mix.
- Add half the flour and mix on a low speed. Add the other half of the flour, again using low speed until just combined.
- Fold the apple cubes into the mixture.
- Tip into prepared tin and smooth the top. Bake for around 40 minutes until the cake is golden.
I picked up a great piece of editing advice on the internet this week courtesy of short story writer, Dan Purdue.
Dan’s blog post on Editing is worth reading in full but I particularly liked the tip that Dan gives in the very last paragraph of his post. He tries to read his work as though it were written by someone he doesn’t like or by someone who’s won a competition in which he was unplaced. The aim is to tear the piece apart and show what a terrible writer this other person really is.
I’m not good at cutting out chunks of prose or ‘killing my darlings’ but I think Dan’s tip is definitely worth a try. I shall get myself into ‘nasty’ mode before I start editing next time.