The Final Edit
excerpt from lecture
by Mark Spragg

Copyright Mark Spragg, 2012. All rights reserved. For reprint permissions, please go to Contact page

I often think of the process of writing as a dichotomy between a child and parent. The child is allowed, in fact encouraged, to make any sort of creative mess it desires, and then the parent, the editor-self, that caring and judgmental and patient aspect of the writer examines the mess, deciding if there’s anything at all worth keeping. And in the final editing steps -- if I've found no drastic mistakes in character or narrative -- the child is shown the door, and the editor takes over completely. At this point it’s not about addition, it’s about subtraction. It’s about paring the manuscript even further, refining, distilling. It’s about looking at your work as a reader would, not the writer. And a devoted reader at that.