Editing is a Bitch
I mean, a worthwhile past time and necesasary process.
Hey, I spelled ‘necessary’ right! Good sign. (sarcasm…)
As of three minutes ago, I just finished editing, and by proxy reading, my second novel. Now to be clear, I haven’t done that to my first novel yet, but bear with me.
I was required to prepare the first three chapters of both novels (and write Synopses, but that’s a WHOLE other blog post of seething derision) in order to turn in to my potential agent. In the process of editing and perfecting the first chapters of my second novel, I got sucked in and couldn’t stop. When it was time to take a break and give the chapters of my first book (chapters I’d already edited and revised over a year ago) a go, it felt like trudging through three foot snow drifts in comparison. Did I put on my snow shoes and keep trucking? No, I hit the third chapter and returned to the second novel.
Now, I am actually looking forward to assaulting the first again now, but still – I’m prepared for work.
Which brings me to the point of this post. The work.
The work is ESSENTIAL!
Not just the editing of the final product, as that stage is an amazing gift to have to deal with, when you get there. The work I’m referring to is the slugging along, the pounding the keys, the shoveling shit from a seated position, as Stephen King says. The day in and day out process of actually writing is ESSENTIAL! (Can I capitalize that any bigger? Let me find out.)
Nope, but I can bold it, italicize it, and add exclamation point flavor!
Why do I say this? Well, for one, since starting my first novel in 2009, I have now written two. Yet, more importantly, even if I hadn’t written or finished my second novel by now, when it was time to go back, something magical had happened.
I’d grown. Changed, Shifted my voice, my need for flare and adjectives had been reined in, I’d become more concise, more concrete, and more honest with my writing. Despite having edited those chapters two years ago, when I returned to them, they needed work that only the present day Writer me could do – could see. I can honestly say, that having revisited those pages now, I feel I’ve made the story better, I’ve made the writing better. That, sirs and madams, is magic.
Now, was I scouring How to Write Fiction tomes, or taking literature classes? Reading Keats and Yeats and Dr. Seuss to perfect my craft? No honestly, and that’s a shame. I do read on occasion, and in some stints I absorb fiction like a Shamwow, but at other times, I don’t. Yet, what is constant is the writing, the momentum, the flow of story. I believe that, in and of itself, will teach you lessons you didn’t know you were equipped to be a teacher of.
So, as I feel my eyes heavy from hours of staring back at a glowing screen, I feel certain that I’ve done good work, I’ve fine tuned my creation, and above all I’ve created something of worth.
I’m feeling good today friends. Join me, won’t you? 🙂