A metaphor for line editing

Lately, I’ve been reading other writers’ unpublished work, and also editing my new novel. As I whittle sentences down to a size and rhythm that’s tighter and more manageable, I keep thinking of this process as a sort of good corseting. I wish I could show my dear readers what I mean by demonstrating, but it’s as if I’m cutting excess stuff, and yanking the corset tighter. Again and again, in different ways and different places. Cut, yank, cut, yank, and so on. I’m recalling those preppy camp belts people used to wear with chinos in the 1980s, with webbing and metal buckles that you fold down, like seat belts. But with those belts, there was much more pulling involved.

Something like this.

preppy belts
So everything looks better, and feels better, as long as one is not a sentence.

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