March 20, 2013

My Christmas Tree - An Unlikely Editor

By Jude Urbanski

“Oh, no!”

Do you know how long it takes to decorate a Christmas tree, much less redecorate?

Finishing touches had barely slid from my fingertips when the wayward tree lights played roles of dead soldiers. I felt deceived, because I had checked the lights. Dreams of sipping morning coffee and basking in the lights of my beautiful tree vaporized. I hung my head, dreading the redecorating toil.

However, it wasn’t long before the saving analogy hit. A writing-related analogy. So, maybe all wasn’t for naught. This tree, refusing to shine, reminded me of my latest novel and the job of editing said novel.

I had pulled my story together, sat back and smiled. My story was bright, fresh and ready for a home. Surely, any editor would drool. Fantasies of advances, marketing, and success pirouetted beautifully across my mind, but, truth is, my book still languishes in my computer.

My crazy tree needed redoing, redecorating and rewiring. A dreaded task the second time around, but maybe my book needed a similar overhaul. As with my tree, I dwelt on whether to start my book all over. Just as I had to remove ornaments from the tree, maybe I needed to switch scenes, to begin in the middle or even change points of view of my story. Perhaps that nice-but-adds-nothing tinsel needs cutting, which equates to throwing out superfluous backstory.

I grieved to lose my original designs, both of tree and book, but knew change was necessary. I don’t have to ask whether you understand. I know you do. We’ve all been there.

The good news is editing usually isn’t required to be as drastic as my tree saving measures, but the bad news is writers must be open to editing.

Jude Urbanski is southern born, northern raised, but loves the land of her birth. Her novels are set in Pickett County, Tennessee, home to her ancestors for six generations. She writes a mix of women’s fiction with Christian romance. Jude now has two electronic novels, The Chronicles of Chanute Crossing Series. She contributed to the anthology, I Choose You, released in December, 2012. She is a columnist forMaximum Living, a magazine focusing on spirituality and wellness for women.Jude has a Master’s Degree in Nursing and worked as a nurse practitioner. She is a member of national and area chapters of American Christian Fiction Writers and National League of American Pen Women. She and her husband live in Indiana and share a large blended family.


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