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Editing, Part One

by on July 25, 2011

I haven’t written a post about my writing in a while, so, here one is. (Woohoo!). Today I read through seven chapters (about forty pages) of the sequel to Hailfire, which I have tentatively titled Event Horizon (and hello, Obligatory Shameless Plug, my old friend. I have missed you. :P)  My editing process is fairly basic at the moment; when I say ‘read through’, I mean just that: I read straight through those chapters and made incremental changes as I went along. When I finish going through the book on this first editing run, I’ll send the draft out to various friends and whatnot who comprise my editing team, then go back through and make detailed changes based on their comments. That’s when I might do things like re-write a scene if it doesn’t make sense, or add a new character, or change plotline, etc. Right now I’m just doing plain ordinary proofreading .And boy, is it fun.

On a substantive note, I saw a post on the Lantern Hollow Press blog, which I follow religiously (I suppose there’s a pun in that somewhere), which made reference to the classic debate in the circles of Christian fiction writers about how specific one should get in stories about one’s faith. There’s a broad variety of approaches on that point, ranging from C.S. Lewis’ allusions in Narnia or the Space Trilogy, to the ‘come-right-out-and-say-it’ approach of writers like Bodie and Brock Thoene, or the even more explicit approach of the Left Behind Series. Myself, I tend to fall somewhere in the middle. I see the value of the “show, don’t tell” approach, if you follow me, as I don’t like to be confrontational or preach at people, and of course there are preachers far more qualified than I am to do that sort of thing. 😛 On the other hand, I have to be honest with myself, right? If my beliefs mean anything to me, they’d have to influence my writing in some way. So I can’t exactly not talk about faith. On the third hand, I think it also depends on what sort of story one is writing. The Caitlin Chronicles, for example, are purely fun and frolic, so I wouldn’t expect and you won’t see Princess Caitlin trying to organize that small band of weasels she was fighting into a old-time revival meeting, or taking up a collection from the people of Shmirmingard. Hailfire, however, is my attempt to write a more serious story, it’s an adaptation of a Biblical plotline, and so naturally I would expect my characters to have religious experiences, which of course they do. And that carries into the sequel, which I suppose brings this post full circle. (It’s the Ciiiircle of Liiiiife….and it moves us allllll….)

So there it is. I don’t want my serious stories to whack you over the head with my beliefs, especially if you don’t share them. But neither do I want my faith to be totally separate from my writing; the one is as much a part of me as the other. The story is the story; it is what it is. And that is as philosophical as I want to get on this bright and shiny and very hot Monday. Cheers!

 

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3 Comments
  1. Well, my beliefs certainly colour what I write (I’m kind of atheist-agnostic-something), so why shouldn’t yours? Hehe. I think it’s totally fine so long as you aren’t whacking people over the head, like you said! *nod*

  2. Of course, one person’s whack-o’er-the-head is another person’s gentle nudge….:P

  3. Very well done, good sir!

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