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Nightjar
  • Writer's picturePaul Jameson

Blind Edits and 'Hop-Frog' by Edgar Allen Poe

I seem to have been editing for an age, but I come close now to being satisfied with a final edit of ’76 and the Odd 93’.

I first penned this manuscript between 1993 and 1996. A cathartic exercise drawing on my experience of more than a decade of what the doctors tell me was severe emotional, mental, and physical abuse; my childhood. And I’ll be glad to finish it. A crime-noir piece of fiction, it’s very dark and cuts a bit too close to the bone. That said, I’ve learnt so much about writing over the last four years I do believe I’ll have a well-polished piece worthy of querying by the end of July. And if the querying doesn’t pay dividends, then I’ll be confident enough to self-publish it.

So I’ve been doing a lot of reading as part of the editing process. But it’s not relaxing reading; always looking for mistakes and better ways to say things. Eyelids droop and the mind goes strange. So I decided to give myself a break yesterday.

Do something else.

Take the mind off the edit...

So I read Hop-Frog’ by Edgar Allen Poe.

It’s a wee ditty, much a take on a dark fairy tale. Short and sweet, I think it'd be classed as flash fiction today. The twisted dwarf, bullied and laughed at, takes on the rich and the stupid; not because of the way they treat him, but in how they treat his love. I loved this as his motivation. It's a bit like Rumplestiltskin and Beauty and the Beast, slowly engaged in a quickstep with Bluebeard. Read it. It won't take long, and should raise a smile.


I’m glad I read it too because it actually reaffirmed belief in my own editing process and that polishing the manuscript is delivering results. So often we edit ‘blind’, when just a break and reading the words of another author open the eyes, so to speak. Never underestimate the power and benefit of reading!

 

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