In the parallel universe where I’m a writer instead of an editor I received my editor’s comments and line-edited ms for A Darkness Forged in Fire. There’s trimming for pace, a few clarifications of plot and a couple of characters that need some fleshing out to develop their personalities. There were a couple of cuts, however, that at first I didn’t agree with. I read and reread the passages and couldn’t understand why this or that cut had been made until I pulled back and looked at the pacing. Writers, certainly this one, can get enamored with word choice and imagery and lose the plot, literally. You work so long to craft that exquisite paragraph that you lose track of what the real intent of the chapter was. Of the many golden rules that a writer should pay attention to (but not slavishly follow) pacing is near the top.
In yet another reality where I’m a runner instead of a couch potato my body surprised me yesterday with a burst of speed in the last 1/4 mile of a 4 mile run in Central Park. I was getting close to the end of the run, huffing like the little engine that barely could when I heard runners coming up behind me about to pass. Some irrational spark deep in my id/ego/super ego flared and I wasn’t about to get passed that close to the finish. It was a revelatory experience because I honestly had no idea I had that kind of energy reserve. It also showed me that I haven’t been pushing as hard as I could. When I finally got to my finish line I slowed down and pulled off to the side to bask in my little victory and smile at the runners who hadn’t caught me. That’s when I saw that they were two very cute women who, had they passed me, I could have followed for miles. Alas, in this instance I definitely outpaced myself.