Doing The Grunt Work

There are two truths to any successful business, no matter what the field. First, you have to be willing to put in the hours. Second, you have to accept the fact that there will always be grunt work.

“Grunt work” is an interesting euphemism. I have three sons that have served in the military, two Marines and one Air Force. “Grunt work” normally involves mops, rags, mowers etc. The necessary work that is not what they signed up for. In writing stories our grunt work is editing, plot summary updates, scenery enhancements, and additional character descriptions. Anything that does not deal directly with my story, but will negatively impact my story if we do not do them.

I am now in the grunt work phase of my first story. My editor went through it yesterday with me. We always have a lively discussion around her points, and almost every time she is correct. In fact, she normally picks up on the points I had concerns with while proof reading and putting in my first edits before handing the story over. There is a great value though in having someone you can trust to edit your story. Whether it is for plot or prose.

Yesterday was pretty brutal. I won’t have to rewrite the story, in fact the opening scene made her cry. Unfortunately, I do have some thin spots that need thought through and fleshed out better. It’s worth the grunt work to do this though. I want my readers to wrap themselves in my stories and not want to look away until the conclusion.



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