I have finally conquered that niggling bit of the edit. I realized I had an instinct but I’d been batting it away; firstly, I knew how much work it was going to be and secondly, what do I know? Who am I to have instincts?
What is instinct without wisdom? Or knowledge? Or maybe experience. Should you listen?
When you’re learning something it’s really difficult to know whether to trust your instincts or not. But I have learned that when a more experienced writer than I has looked at my manuscript and made a comment, on several occasions I’ve said, ‘yeah… I sort of knew that.’ Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying I know everything (oh dear lord; I actually know nothing) but quite often – enough times to become aware of it – I’ve had that little thought come into my head: ‘you knew this already didn’t you?’
I had vowed to listen a bit more to this voice but it can be quiet over the rest of the din in my head. Then on Saturday night it raised its voice, ‘you gotta get rid of the second library scene,’ it said. ‘It’s stealing the first library scene’s thunder. It’s gotta go. Hello? HELLO? Can you hear me?’
I could. I acknowledged Voice but it was late so I printed out the two scenes and went to bed. Yesterday I got up early and brought the two scenes together.
Then I saw this: “Good writers learn how to pare a manuscript down to its most essential elements, carving away the word count fat that marks so many beginning writers” from here and I knew I’d done the right thing.
Instincts are good but sometimes confidence is required in tandem.
Hello? Hello Confidence? Can you hear me? Can I have some please?