One was closer.
Somewhere, Somewhen, Somewhy
Dead Eyes, Water Mouth
below everything that ever existed
Here and There
In the summer of 2012 I was knee-deep in editing several projects. By that point writing and editing were nothing new to me. I had read all the classics like The Elements of Style, On Writing, and Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, but somewhere along the way I adopted a sense of doubt. I began to wonder if the changes I was making were to make my writing better, or if I was doing them just to do them.
That question is one of the big ones when it comes to editing a book. I think in the past what I was doing was editing for the sake of editing, making changes because other books told me I was supposed to. The alternative is to ignore the rules and do what you think is best for your story.
In the end I think it’s about balance between the two. Ignoring rules for the sake of ignoring them is just as bad as following rules for the sake of following them, so in writing you really have to ask yourself: Is what I’m doing making my story better?
With all these thoughts in my head, I decided it was time to write a story completely shackle-free. I wanted to push the boundaries, let myself write what I wanted to write whether I was breaking rules or following them. Of course I planned to edit it someday, but I wanted to cross that bridge when I came to it, and no sooner.
The end product required very little editing. I liked it the way it was, mostly. I believe I’ve struck a balance between following rules and breaking them, taking into account only what was best for the story I was trying to tell. I wasn’t always right the first time, but few people are.