26 January, 2013, Editing Adaptations

Okay, the heavy lifting is done. The first draft of my adaptation of a Shakespeare play is complete. Next stage is tricky, waiting three to six months before starting to edit. Don't think I'll manage six months. I'll be lucky if I can wait three. The thing is it's important to wait. I can't spot my own typos and mistakes if I don't take a break from the text. I'll just edit in my head. The break is important. Also, I'm more likely to notice poorly written bits with a break. Just look at The Etymology of Fire, for example. I think I deleted about a third of the text in the editing stage. Probably an exaggeration. Just felt like a third of the text because I was the one doing serious damage to my own writing. Murdering lots of babies and little darlings and all of that. It was worth it, my opinion. I think Etymology of Fire really flows. Best written of the three. I know. I know. Biased. What can I say?

Anyway, the editing stage is going to be tricky for this new Shakespeare adaptation thing because there is very little text to be edited down. I mean. It's short. It's spare. It's downright minimalistic. So, there's not much that can be cut. Hopefully, the edit will mostly consist of spotting poorly done turns-of-phrase that I will be able to improve. Optimistic and all of that.

Funny thing about me and my approach to writing. I'm very much the warts-and-all type. First draft is also the last draft. Minimal editing. Editing is at the text level. Plot is locked. Chapters and scenes are locked. Characters are locked. Fix the grammar. Hunt down those typos. Fix descriptions. If something was described as on the right before, then please make sure it is always on the right. It shouldn't bounce around from left to right. Oh, unless that's actually important to the story.

I used to be much worse with the whole first draft is last draft thing. I look at The Magic Flute now, and I cringe. Especially the first few chapters. I look over those now, and I really wish I had given them a better polish. Been less obsessed with warts-and-all. What was I thinking and all of that.

Now, I just need to keep my mind off the Shakespeare adaptation for a few months, and I really need to settle down and name the damn thing. I'm still kicking around a couple possibilities. I mean, for the longest time, the name was set. Then, it was vacillating between two almost identical possibilities. Vacillating because the actual text wasn't really hitting exactly the themes implied by the title, and I'm certainly not going to alter the text in order to fit the title. That would be stupid. I need to go where the story tells me it's going and not the other way around. This has resulted in a big surprise or two as the story developed. Underlying principle and subtext may actually be the opposite of what I thought it was, kind-of thing. Doesn't matter what I wanted, thought I was going to do, or anything. Story goes where it will.

So, there are a couple different titles for this thing floating around in my head. In fact, I'm most definitely leaning toward one I hadn't really considered before. On the one hand, the title I'm considering is really cool. On the other, it doesn't really make sense. Not literally, anyway. But, it's cool and fits the theme. So, yeah.

Of course, I'm still not going to admit whatever the hell the title is because I'm still being super paranoid. This is an adaptation of a Shakespeare play, after all. I'm absolutely paranoid that people could figure out what I've done. Realize that it's actually a really cool idea. Not been done before, as near as I can tell. And just rip something off right quick. Get it out there. Suddenly, I'm following someone else's footsteps. Yeah, I know. Me just being paranoid.

That's actually another silly reason I'll only manage about three months before I get to editing. It's only a matter of time before someone, anyone, hits this idea and publishes. I'll feel quite the fool either way. Alone in the woods with nobody caring. Or, suddenly second place with others getting whatever little glory there might happen to be found.

What's far more likely is I'll dump my poor-ass little work on an uncaring populace. Nobody will notice. None shall care. Then, some few years or so down the road, a work very much like mine will come out and be a smash. That's irony that, I think. Poetic procrastination, maybe? I don't know.

Just being self-aggrandizing over here. Ignore me.

copyright © 2013 by keith d. jones – all rights reserved