Ah editing. It is one of life’s necessities when you are a writer. I recently went on an editing frenzy and ended up cutting over 2000 words of Bonded. I’d discovered I had used the word eyes over 350 times. Yes, my characters all have eyes and they all use their eyes to do stuff, like looking, but that’s just overkill. (Perhaps that shall be the topic of another post).
Today’s post is about seeing what you say and not what you mean. Writers are great at writing awesome sentences, but sometimes, what you see in your head and what your reader sees are two entirely different things.
Here’s an example from my editing adventures:
Her fingernails scrambled against the stones, trying to escape.
What I meant was that she (the owner of the fingernails) was trying to escape. But now that I look at what I actually said the only thing I can think is, “Why are the fingernails trying to escape?” This isn’t a zombie novel. Nor is it a sci-fi-your-fingernails-have-become-alive . . . though that might make a good horror story. Imagine waking up in the middle of a dark night to find your fingernails escaping or worse, seeking revenge on you for biting them . . .
Anyhow . . .
The moral of the story: When editing, make sure you see what you say and not what you mean.