I note with sadness the passing of Ken Rand, author of Tales of the Lucky Nickle Saloon, Golems of Laramie County, many short stories and humor columns and those great interviews for Talebones magazine. Also from Fairwood Press, the superb The 10% Solution: self-editing for the modern writer. I will miss Ken, the writing community will miss him.
I very much like The 10% Solution, and considering it and my current novel (now going into final edits), has me thinking about when to stop revising. I used to faithfully print out the penultimate draft and do a line edit with mechanical pencil. This has proven too time-consuming (because I then have to type in the changes) and it also doesn’t help the tendonitus that’s been creeping up on me. (Yeah, I’ve tried all the fixes, and some of them have been extremely helpful. Except when I’m Really crunching.)
What was strange for me lately was a series of scenes that were very tricky. I had revised them heavily on-screen a couple of times. Then, even thoughI was really happy with how they had turned out, down to the smallest detail, I broke my habit and printed out the pages. Yipes. I found a bunch of prose that needed smoothing out. I wondered: does that mean hard copy is better? After some thinking, I decided that what was important was the Change. If you’ve been working on hard copy, switch to electronic, or vice versa. Similarly, I’ve found that single spacing reveals needed edits to me. My conclusion: Anything that makes the material fresh to you is helpful on the revision.
And then try The 10% Solution. Thanks, Ken.