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Scott Lax Blog

Editing in Life and Literature

One of the things that strikes me about Ted Kennedy's life and how he approached it, was that he believed that even with failings and flaws and tragedy, we can still attempt and sometimes do good works.

In view of writing, this holds true. I'm working on a book of short stories right now. One that I'm working on now, a 25-pager, calls me to edit it every day. I've made, I don't know, dozens, maybe a hundred plus changes. And I know that it will never be perfect, maybe never even be good, but I'll edit it until I think it's the best it can be. Then I'll let it go.

Even then, I'll know it could have been better. The publisher of THE YEAR THAT TREMBLED, Paul S. Eriksson, may he rest in peace, told me as my first novel was going to press, and I was begging for more changes, "There comes a time you have to let it go!"

Except Paul didn't exactly "say" it. He sort of yelled it. He was a grand and good man, with a passion for books, and he taught me a lot. So: my advice is to work and work on a project, and then let it go.

A work of literature is like being human: It will never be perfect.  Read More