We welcome our newest contributor, Ray Rhamey, to Writer Unboxed. We’re sure that you’ll find Ray’s expertise about editing fiction and his tales on the grueling process of submission as insightful as we do. Enjoy!
Everyone writer is, to some extent, an editor. And every editor is, to some degree, a writer. I’m one of those people who works both sides of the street—I edit novels, and I write them. The editing part you may have seen on my blog, Flogging the Quill. The writing part is exhibited there as well (otherwise there wouldn’t be any posts, would there?) The novels are so far unpublished, though the latest is “on the back burner” with an agent—she responded to it this way: “I loved it. . .but I don’t know what to do with it.” She’s thinking that part over, but not committing. Argh.
Anyway, Kath and Teri wondered how I toggle back and forth between editing and writing. I’d never thought of that before. It’s the kind of thing that you don’t think about, just as in a first draft you don’t stop to think of how you select a particular verb, you just do it.
I’m thinking that with me it’s not toggling, not going back and forth, but a blended focus, a composite that’s been created by years and years of doing both. I look at a sentence and its strengths and shortcomings are immediately apparent, and how to rewrite it is as well. In my particular skull, that comes from a natural talent for language and maybe learning diagramming in high school.