Jenga | Author Denise Grover Swank Jenga | Author Denise Grover Swank
Denise Grover Swank


I’m editing. I’ve been editing for over a month and the end is in sight. I’ve done  revisions, sentence restructuring and tried to remove as many *I*s as possible. I’ve embedded deep POV, taken out unnecessary lines (even if I love them,) and found repetitive words.

I’ve read this manuscript so many times I can practically recite passages word for word. I have favorite lines. Favorite scenes. I start reading the find myself swept up in the story that’s lived in my head for months, clawing at my brain to find itself on a page.  I love this story more than I’ve loved any of the other four before it, which says a lot. Julia is a character more close to my heart than any other my other characters (which feels oddly, or not so oddly, like picking a favorite child.) As the story progresses, my heart aches for her loss. I can only hope readers ache for her too.

But I’m approaching the point where my manuscript feels like a game of Jenga. You know the game. You have a stack of wooden blocks and you take them out one by one until the tower topples over. Every time I edit, I reach a point where I feel like I’m close to a toppling point. I take out any more, my story crashes. I search for overused words and to replace them is a delicate balance because I might have used that verb two sentences above. Sure, RUN is okay a paragraph apart but FROLICKED? A bit obvious? (For the record, I don’t think I’ve ever used the word frolicked in a manuscript. But now I’ve used it in a blog post. 😀 ) I reach this weird point where I’m actually scared to change things, scared I’m going to screw it up somehow.

But I’m not there yet. I”ve still got beta readers notes to incorporate.

What I’m listening to right now: My new obsession, Lifehouse– It is What It Is. This song haunts my soul.

Categories: Fiction Young Adult
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Carolina Valdez Miller
Carolina Valdez Miller
13 years ago

Yes, that’s where betas can be really useful, because there does come a point where the judgment gets cloudy. But this is all great stuff. I think you’re really fine tuning now. SO CLOSE!

Pam Torres
Pam Torres
13 years ago

I just finished my WIP yesterday, anxious to begin revision but I know I should let it cool off a bit. In the meantime I will be looking for some beta readers for down the road. Great post!!

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