The “Joys” of Editing

Well, look at what we have here – editing symbols! Hooray!!

No, not really. No one gets that excited over editing or its symbols no matter how silly they may be (and those are pretty silly, if I do say so myself). I have seen this particular image with all these whackadoodle squiggles and explanations all over the web: from Facebook to Pinterest, to other writing sites and beyond. It never ceases to amuse me. I find it particularly amusing now that the editing hamsters of Corrugated Sky run through their little wheels to keep the coffee flowing for our actual editors in preparation for our next anthology. Or for those who are using this April’s CampNaNoWriMo to revise the monstrosity that may or may not have been written back in November.

We’ve all been there, we have all looked at the block of dead tree sheaves, proud of our grand accomplishment, only to cut it down with the mighty Red Pen of Death. We weep for the discarded words, the chopped up sentences that ran free into eternity, the witty repartee that is actually not very witty at all. By the end of the battle, there is more red than black on the page, if the page even made the cut. The recycle bin has accepted your unwilling sacrifice to the Muses and eagerly waits for the next round (and there will be a next round; and another; and another…).

Fear not! The Red Pen of Death eventually loses its power, succumbing to the renewed vigor of imagination (or, perhaps, that’s desperation, it’s a little hazy) and bows at the feet of a shiny new manuscript ready for the world to bask in its glory. In order to reach glory, the blood, sweat, and tears of the writer (and editor) must be shed, willingly (or unwillingly, usually) given.

So! To help make it through the trials and tribulations of your oncoming battle, I have compiled a list of essentials to follow during the arduous process:

  1. Stay hydrated. Any liquid will do, though your doctor might recommend water over, say, Bourbon. Your choice, really.
  2. Eat. Chocolate does, in fact, count as its own food group during such dire times. Insane amounts of cheese also qualify in the same manner.
  3. Pick a good playlist for battle. I, personally, like actual battle ballads or “really angry rock music” when I am attacking my manuscript with the Red Pen of Death.
  4. Facebook (or Pinterest or Twitter) in rage spurts to help with your frustration. Post vague messages to make all your contacts worry about your sanity (you don’t have any anyway, you’re editing a book).
  5. It is ok to rage quit at least twice but don’t go overboard. Three is the max for rage quitting on your manuscript. Get your butt back in that seat after the third time.
  6. Wear comfy pants. No pants is also acceptable if you live alone in a cave with no one that might pop in unexpectedly.
  7. Any question can be answered with “Because socks.” It doesn’t have to make sense, it simply is.

And, there you go. May the battle be short. May the imagination inspire greatness and glory. May your Camp Cabins be kind and inspiring. May you all return to see our new Steampunk Anthology coming out later this spring when the hamsters complete their task of caffeinating our poor, sleep-deprived editors. Also, don’t forget to give our first Anthology, Tales of the Black Dog a glance (and review), and stay tuned for future calls for submissions and other fun-filled things from the Corrugated Sky Team.

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