Editing For Clean Impulses
I cleaned off some emasculating incest energy, some spiritual possession shit, off one of my leading men during rehearsals for a show. He loved my guts ever after, and wanted to be best buds with manly kissing rights. He was a sweet and naive kiddo; he married soon after, and has not, I think, experimented with homosexuality since then. (If you were curious, I kept his greedy mitts off me, which he found infuriating.)
Editing Is Careful Work
Every time you write down any kind of thought, or description, or line of dialogue, your energy soaks into the writing, and imbues the phrases with a particular branding of emotion.
If your emotional packages build cleanly and organically, then the story flows, has excellent pace, and brings emotional satiety to the reader.
On The Other Hand . . .
If the impulse chains are broken, and the phrases are interrupted with wild, incoherent energy changes (which happens in most editing work, to be honest), the story becomes a mass of difficult-to-follow feel-nothing thoughts.
Was that paragraph confusing? Good.
The Editing Advice:
Now, how do you dig apart an organic energy chain? Take a piece of a clean draft, like so:
She had grown up near horses, when she had been a child in the far west, and though she had not been a horse trader herself, she was fond of the people who worked with horses. Horses reminded her of the time she had been free, before she had left her family, before she had been sold as a slave to the Eastern lands.
And Now, The Wrong Way
Now, here is some terrible editing that irretrievable disrupts the chain of impulses contained in that work:
The sweet child had grown up near many four-legged beasts. some of them horses, when she had been a little one in the farther west, beyond the oasis but not so far as the wilder places. Though she had never been closely associated with any horse trading families, or with those folk who bred and trained the riding and harness beasts used in those lands, she was still sentimental, and incredibly fond of anyone who worked with horses for their daily bread. Horses reminded her of the time she had been free, long, long ago, before she had left her poor family, and before she had been sold like a bundle of goods into the house of an Eastern merchant, to do his bidding and have no will of her own.
That was a shitty, painful piece of prose, wouldn’t you say? Unbearable.
And The Right Way
Now, by contrast, here is the same piece, edited with an eye to preserving the original impulse chain:
She had grown up near horses, when she had been a child in the far west, and though she had not been a horse trader herself, she was fond of the people who worked with horses. Horses reminded her of the time she had been free, before she had left her family, and before she had been sold as a slave to the Eastern lands.
If you look, there is only one word added. Of course, many paragraphs will need more adjustment than this, but for this particular chain of thoughts, one small correction is all that’s needed.
But Victor, My Writing Needs More!
What if your impulses are tangled before you started writing in the first place?
If you are like my wild stud-actor, the one who carried incest packages from his bitch mum, and who wanted to get in my pants more than anything in the world, you might be carrying impulse chains that scare you.
Victor, You’re Unbearably Conceited
Because, you see, when you were a tender thing, people touched your skin, and some of them were evil. The people were, I mean. When evil people hold a child’s hand, or tie their shoe, sometimes ugly energy soaks into the child’s skin. Children are incredibly absorbent, and are developmentally and psychologically designed to purge bad energy off their parents, in order to get grounding, rooted energy in their souls.
That’s Why Kids Love Unconditionally, At First
The part that’s important for today is that when you were a little kid, you picked up energy from people that was dangerous, and much of that energy is still tucked inside your aura.
So What Happens To That Energy?
When you write a genuine impulse chain, those dark energies loosen, and start to come free. You start, if you write what you really want to write, to chronicle frightening things.
In the process, the bad energy works free, and passes through your skin.
Yogis Call These Packages ‘Samskaras’
In an attempt to keep away from scary things, the vast majority of humans who write repress all their natural impulses, and write like frigid nuns.
And Now, The Editing Lesson
When you write, remember that you are, whether you try to or not, and whether you notice or not, writing down an unbroken chain of organic impulses, all in a row.
When you edit, remember that some of those impulses are foreign, evil, and genuinely frightening. If you edit them out, or away, or soften them, your work will suffer.
Many Of Them Don’t Come From You
If you try to heighten the effect of these foreign impulses, to make them seem more than they are, the work will suffer, and taste sour.
Acceptance of the current state of affairs in your natural soul, and therefore, in your writing, is a good way to take a step towards cleaner work.
You’re reading Victor Poole. I’ve never written my little actor into a book. There is a whole lot of metaphorical coupling in this series, which I bet you are not patient enough to read. : P