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In the Raw

*Note: This will make more sense after you read the guest post on the Books By Violet Blog.

Hang tight until then my regular readers. 
For those of you here because of the post on the Books By Violet blog, here's the raw, unedited version of the post that let you here.  -TS

Think of the best sentence in your favorite book. The sentence that made you stop and re-read. That didn’t make you-it commanded you to stop and re-read it. To appreciate its brilliance. Do you have the sentence in your mind?

Good.

Now imagine the book without that sentence.

Would it be the same? Probably not.
Would there be some other sentence that would grab you the same way? Not likely. Is there something about that sentence, a word, a phrase, a hook that if it were modified would make the sentence something you skimmed right over?

The reality is, all of the above probably happened.

Hello there, loyal readers of the awesome Books by Violet blog. I am *not* Violet, but I’m assuming you already knew that based on the fact that there is not actually a book being reviewed on these pages at present.

Once again, I’m here to share some insight that might not cross your mind as you’re reading your favorite or next favorite book.
The thing is, books are written by people. More importantly, a book is written by *readers*. And there you have the tie-in.

Back to the opening. Do you still have that sentence in your mind? Good.

Again, what if I told you that the sentence probably wasn’t in the first draft of your favorite book?

So, how does a writer make a great idea into a great book? The simple answer is, they write it, duh.

But just writing it isn’t good enough, my dear readers. Once the author gets the words out of their head into some sort of workable draft, then the *real* work begins.

The real work is not so simple. Once a draft of a book or story is written, they *keep* writing it. They write. And they then read. And they edit. And they write. And they read. And when, as V.E. Schwab so eloquently stated in her 10-minute writer workshop, when they read the story as a *reader*, then it’s done.

I’m speaking (well typing) of course of the dreaded re-write and editing process. If you want to see a writer weep, ask them what kind of relationship they have with their editors.

No. Don’t do that. Nobody likes to see a writer cry. Trust me on this, it’s not pretty.

The editing process is pretty fresh in my mind because I recently finished a short but intense tete a tete with a professional editor. It was a first for me. She was, however, a bit more experienced. Thankfully she guided me gently along in the process.

In these days of the self-pubbed phenoms, it’s easy for someone to think they can get by and publish without any kind of editing.  I can see both sides.

My first book was published without an editor. This short story that I just finished was done so with the help of a professional editor.

The difference? I am sitting here, in a coffee shop just off of a major interstate thinking about those two pieces. While I am insanely proud of my first published novella, I know beyond a doubt that the short story (which is as yet unpublished) is stronger. It’s a tighter story.

I know many writers and mileage definitely varies in the editor vs. non-editor camps, but I think for me personally if I am to feel comfortable that I’m giving you the best story I can, I will be working with editors.  

Here is the irony. As I’m writing this piece, there is a mish-mash of ideas. I have things I want to say and at this point, I’m just doing best to get the words out. The form that you are reading right now, the piece that Violet posted, isn’t actually what I started out with. I can assure you of that. To prove it, I’m going to do something that I never do. I am going to transfer this file from the NEO2 (basically my idea pad) and post it over on my blog, and you can read it as I wrote it in the first draft.

I can assure you, that it will be nowhere as tight as the version you read on Violet’s blog.

And that kind of is the point. As an author, I feel that I owe it to you, the reader, to deliver the best story I can.

Sure, I have a lot of time invested in writing the story. But here’s the thing, I’m going to write anyway. Sure-it’s easier on the days where the words feel like they are stuck in peanut butter and maple syrup to write knowing that there is someone out there looking forward to reading them, but if you didn’t read them, I’d still write.

That means that the real time committment is on your end. You, as the reader have a massive choice to make. What book are you going to give your time to? I want it to be mine. And because of that, I’m going to do what it takes to give you the best return on your investment.

And if you’re looking for suggestions on what to read, you’re in the right place. I promise you won’t see me TOO often, mostly will be the awesome book recommendations by Violet.

Until next time, my friends, it’s your friendly-neighborhood Writer-Man signing off.

-TS

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