I want a magic pen.
You know the kind. Bright and shiny silver. Maybe set with diamonds. A couple of saphires and rubies wouldn't hurt.
Oh yeah, and everything I write with it is witty and brilliant and absolutely perfect.
Now that's not too much to ask, right? Anyone seen any of these bad boys for sale?
I guess that leaves me only one choice...
To find a magic pencil. Or a magic computer? Ok. I'm desperate. I'll even take a magic crayon.
OR I could edit the crap out of my writing. (Although writing with something magical sounds way more fun.) Yeah, yeah, yeah. We talk about it all the time. Editing. Revising. Blech.
This, of course, applies to all writing, but since I'm talking about writing humor, I'm going to focus on that a bit.
If you want your jokes to really sing, your wit to stand out, your funny lines to slay your audience then you're going to have to edit like crazy. You're going to have to tear into your writing, mark it up with a red pen and hit that backspace button like it's repeated use of it will make chocolate eclairs and rainbows fall from the sky.
We have to throw up, bleed and cry onto the page. But we can't stop there. Set your work aside for a bit if you need to. Go ride a bike. Feed your children this week. Take your monthly shower. Whatever. But take a break from your writing. Then look at it with fresh eyes. Try reading it like it's someone else's work. Ask yourself questions like...
How's the timing?
Are there spots that need to be more specific?
Are there better words or descriptions that could be used?
Does it make sense?
Is it funny?
Are there weak spots?
Now, while I'm wishing for magic writing devices, I might as well wish for a magic dishwasher, magic change-themselves diapers, a magic wallet....ooooh, and magic pants that always look great on me (even when I'm 7 months pregnant.)
Do you struggle when editing your work? Or do you enjoy the revising bit more?