How To Edit Like James Bond

by Diane Holmes, (a) Chief Alchemist of Pitch University, (b) lover of learning, and (c) writer of fiction, non-fiction, and the occasional manifesto.

(This one goes out to Simon, William Simon.)

It’s All About Attention to Detail

“He was a secret agent, and still alive thanks to his exact attention to the detail of his profession.”
— Ian Fleming, Casino Royale

What is our profession?  Writing.  That makes editing life or death.  Stay alive.  It’s the Bond thing to do.  Here’s how.

Bring on the charm.

Does Bond whine when faced with an onerous task like revision?  No, Bond is not a whiner.  What is he?  A charmer.  Even when face-to-face with Dr. (First Draft Oh-) No.

Bond Smile

What is Charm? Charm is 1 part breezy confidence, 1 part mischievous curiosity, and  1 part devious back-up options.

Frankly, charm is power.

Yet, many writers face editing, rewriting, and revising more like this:

Oh no not this

Dread.  And is it likely to help you create a clever revision?  Nope.  You don’t even believe you can, for Pete’s sake.

Will it help you see your writing in a fresh, exciting way? See your way to a better draft?  Not bloody likely.

And what about that closed door of mental reluctance called your brain?  Is it prepared to try Q’s latest Pen Gun?  The Verbal Jiu Jitsu Grenade?  The Stealth Metaphor?   Because devious back-up options are where the best fun is had.

In summary…

Bond does not do dread.  Dread is not charming.  Enough said.


Try out some Bond Charm on the next big, hairy rewrite you’re dreading.

Take on that confident gleam.  Allow a twinkle to enter your eye. Know you’re the best at what you do. You’re a 00 Writer.

Words come to you, bend to your will. They are putty in your manicured hands. They just can’t help themselves.

There are a thousand tricks up your sleeve.  You can see a hundred possibilities no matter what’s thrown at you.  In fact, you know that trouble is often the best kind of fun.

And, James, you look damn fine in that suit.


clip_image001[4]Diane writes two columns for Freelance-Zone: (1) Fiction-Zone: Leaps in Fiction Mastery and (2) Marketing-Zone: Marketing Yourself and Your Writing.

2 thoughts on “How To Edit Like James Bond”

Comments are closed.