Friday, February 08, 2013

An Editing Hangover

Today I have an editing hangover. Don't worry, it's nothing serious. I haven't had to fry a thing.

Several years ago I discovered there were two ways to edit your own work:

1) Leave it for six months and come back to it with icy detachment and a fresh pair of eyes.

2) Do it drunk.

Deadlines and the real world being what they are, 2) is more normal. It's curious. I can't actually write when drunk. I can barely operate a computer. But, get just a little tipsy, and I can almost disapassionately comb through pages of stuff I've written. I'll spot repeated words, factual errors, and even things which, cold sober, I'd let myself get away with. A little switch goes in the brain - it's pedalled to the top of a hill and is now cantering down going "wheeeeeee!".

It's quite nice. There are only a couple of problems. Firstly, waking up late the next morning with the urge for a breakfast of crsips. And second, trying to decipher margin notes. At about 3am I appear to have typed on page 13: "Biscuits. Biscuits. BISCUITS!!"

Perhaps I was hungry.

1 comment:

ani said...

I hope you won't mind but i'm about to use the topic of editing as a flimsy excuse to send another, 'thank-you' for unearthing a copy of a short story of yours for me. It was very kind of you. The story is thoroughly enjoyable and the insight into editing interesting, especially the square bracketed [notes to self]. No biscuits though.