Atwood’s Tips For Editing Fiction

I like this post that I found on Margaret Atwood’s blog (yes she has a blog!).


Roll On Thirty-Five

Today is my husband’s birthday. He is forty-one. There is going to be a weekend of celebrations. Tonight we will feast on take-away. Chinese or Indian. His choice. Tomorrow we will go to the South Lakeland Animal Park to see the tigers at feeding time and to watch the penguins waddle around. This will be fun. Then we’ll pick up the mother-in-law and bring her back to our house. Steak for tea. On Sunday we will relax and go out for an early dinner at some Italian with the whole family. This is what he wants to do for his birthday, my husband – spend time with my family. And I am glad. This must mean he likes them. He’s going a bit grey now. At the sides. He says this started happening after he met me. It is true. This is one of the effects I have had on my husband in the six years that we have been known to each other. He also now eats mozzerella. This is the extent of my influence on him. As far as I can tell anyway. Forty-one seems quite old when you say it out loud. I am thirty-two. Only three years to go until I get to thirty-five which is the age I have felt since I was about seventeen.  When I’m thirty-five, everything will click into place for me. I will cease to feel slightly out of place and not quite ‘with-it’. You don’t have to be ‘with-it’ when you’re thirty-five. You can just be you. The real you that you’ve always been but have been too inexperienced and concerned with what other people think to be. I will attain a long wished for wiseness and people will seek out my opinion on things. I will have opinions on things. I will trust my own instincts.  I will be more decisive.  I might cut my hair into a bob. I might not. This will all happen when I am thirty-five. When I’m forty-one, my husband will be fifty. Fifty is old.

Edit News

Today I am going to send the Whipcracker the edited version of my first chapter. I am quite pleased with it. I have included lots more ‘show’ to balance out my ‘tell’ . This is writer code. The Whipcracker told me about it on Thursday. It’s what good writers do. I want to be a good writer. I am also sending her a list of desperate questions. Technically she’s not due to receive anything from me until the middle of March but there’s this course I’m applying for and there’s a deadine so she said she didn’t mind. If she thinks it’s alright I’ll send it to my other reader. My other reader is a teacher. He said he would show it to some of his sixth form students if I wanted. This makes me quite nervous. Seventeen year olds can be brutal.  The naievty of youth and a black and white outlook on life makes them like this. I remember. I don’t think I’m ready for seventeen year olds. After I’ve sent it, I’m going to do some real work. Work than earns money. Then I’m going to check my email every hour in case The Whipcracker has responded. In between I might set myself up on Twitter. I am opening myself up to the world and it is scarey.