As much as I love my story and the people in it, re-writing had become a much dreaded task. My editor had made comments on a few scenes that needed to be rewritten from a deep POV. After consideration I decided I liked the omni thing I had going on. Then I had the opportunity to get my story work-shopped by some published authors (Fred Wiehe and Jay Hartlove) and they had the exact same comments about those same scenes.
Hmmm… okay fine. But even as I thought about overhauling those scenes I got exhausted. 8th time’s a charm. Then came NaNoWriMo. Take a one month break to work on something totally new. I come back to these comments with weary determination to make this story the best it can be and suddenly there is a spark. A twinge of excitement. Rather than re-write the scenes, I will scrap them totally, and start fresh and new. The blank page is full of possibility and options. The chance to do something new, with old material is tantalizing. New beginnings, fresh starts. Love them.
Every time I start to wonder if I am a writer to the core of my being something like this happens. The excitement that comes from something so abstract reaffirms to myself that I am true writer and not just someone who jots down neat ideas. When I find a new, undiscovered vein, even from the same old storyline, and I can’t wait for lunch break or writing group to dive into that well and see what treasure I can uncover. I honestly have no idea if these changes are things a reader will ever notice, but it’s a matter of excellence and integrity that they are made. It’s the digging that makes the story a novel and not just something I wrote.
"I know the best pub in Edinburgh!! It's the oldest pub in the town. So we can get drunk in an historic place for cultural reasons."
From my international travel companion Miss Mands.
Believe it or not this is me editing. When I got my manuscript back from my editor Elisabeth, I had almost 300 comments to address and over 4,000 insertions/deletions to accept or reject. Some changes were easy, a little cut and paste and BAM, I had a new and improved scene. If only excellence came that easy.
Other edits were small but had ripple effects. A rewrite on page ten resulted in a bigger change on page seventy five and even bigger changes on page two hundred. What you see here is one of those. There was a an entire middle section that needed to be overhauled and flipping back and forth on the monitor didn’t allow me to really see it. Hard copy is always best for editing.
So I printed it out, cut up the scenes, looked at them one by one, and reordered them according to my changes. Once the order was set I did the switches in the computer, fixed any transitions and cross references, and saved.
I was at a panel discussion about the author as publisher and the authors recommended a list of things you should get done professionally if you plan to self-publish. This list included a developmental editor, a copy editor, cover artist, cover designer, eBook architect, and typesetter.
One reality I have had to come to terms with is that I am in business. I have a product that I am trying to sell, so I better make sure it’s at its best. When I read my first draft I wonder how I ever got this far. Editing. Editing again. And yet more editing is the only way to go.
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