Tuesday, 20 April 2010

What if we had an editing pen for our lives?

This may not be an original idea but there are times when it is a highly attractive one. Allow me to elaborate...

When a writer edits their work they take out the unnecessary bits, the boring bits and the bits that don’t work. ‘Oh yes!’ I can hear you all saying. ‘I could do with removing a few of those!’

Events can be moved around so that the characters and the reader can make more sense of them. A writer can even go back to events near the beginning, make improvements and then weave those changes into the rest of the story. How many times have we wished we could do that with our lives?

During the editing process a writer will work and rework speech until the words say exactly what the character needs them to say. I’m the sort of person who opens my mouth, thinks about it afterwards and then regrets it for weeks and sometimes years.

By far the most attractive aspect of the editing pen is its ability to allow characters to ‘live happily ever after’... Oh well, back to reality.


  1. There are more than a few key moments in my life where I wish I'd acted differently. Other times I reason the imperfections are what make us unique, interesting even.

    It's a poor analogy, but I have a stack of embarrassing CD's showing poor musical judgement. I could edit my past by selling them off or giving them away but I choose to keep them as a reminder of the kind of person I was - a piece of my past if you like.

    ...and it gives my daughter a chance to laugh at me when she's older!

  2. Hi Phil. Thanks for the visit. I'll bet there's not a person alive who doesn't wish they'd acted differently at some time or other.

    As for your choice in music, couldn't help noticing you like the Beatles so it can't all be bad!

  3. That's the beauty of writing : all those what ifs and road not take and we have the glorious freedom to move the goalposts. Keep blogging babes, I really enjoy your posts!

  4. Oh, I can think of many moments I would like to take my red pen to - and slash them out of my life! Then again, they have provided some great novel material for me, so maybe I wouldn't after all.

    Great post Rosalind!

  5. Love it! I'd wish for the editing pen to help me fill in those moments when I stand with my mouth gaping open. I think of what to say -- but it's usually hours later. :)

  6. Thanks, Miriam, you're very kind.

    Agreed, Talli, some of those potential editing moments in our lives are the most fascinating... afterwards.

    I have 'mouth-gaping' moments like that too, Jemi. How is it that some people come up with perfect answers without having to write and rewrite their script?

  7. And the editing pen works not only on you, but also on all the other characters in the story .....an even more exciting prospect.

  8. Now that is an interesting thought, Ann. Editing other people in our lives. The mind boggles!

  9. I have often be told, my mouth is my worst enemy. Must remember to put brain into gear before speaking... :)

    Good post.


Thank you for commenting. I do love receiving comments. Your comment will be sent to me for moderation before appearing here.

If you do not have a Google account, click on the Google account box and select Anonymous. Spam comments are not accepted on this blog.