For my Monday Update post, I’ll be talking about what I’m currently doing (past saying I’m doing it) and why I love it so much.
Not all authors enjoy it. I’ve gathered that much from reading blogs, but that’s to be expected. Everybody loves different parts of this process for different reasons, and that’s all fine and good. It’s one of the things that makes it so interesting to communicate with and read blog entries by other authors – comparing similarities and differences.
I’ll be totally honest and admit that SOMETIMES, IN SOME WAYS, I enjoy editing more than the actual writing. That being said, it does NOT mean that I would rather do it (that I would rather be an editor than an author, or that I think I’d even be capable of that, which I don’t). I enjoy editing my own work. One of the largest reasons is this:
I’m a pantser. I don’t know what’s going to happen when I write stories. I can THINK I do, then turn around only to have the characters laugh in my face and say, “You thought you were in control here? That’s adorable.”
Other than a few major plot points that I will include come hell or high water, I let the characters do what they do and – thus far – it’s worked out. Don’t ask me how, but it just does. (It’s completely off-topic, but I’ll add that I think anyone can have an interesting story, so . . . it’s just telling a person’s (character’s) story however they want it told.)
That first edit is the first time I get to sit down and somewhat ENJOY the story as a whole. I’m not stressing about what the characters are doing/will do because . . . they’ve already done it. So that’s the first time seeing it as a whole (but not yet complete) story, and I love that.
A related reason to that is because I enjoy watching it go from something whole to something that gets just a bit more complete with every run-through (or inch-through, which is what they’ve been lately). I’d imagine it’s a lot like painting in that regard, but I wouldn’t know.
I’m not saying that getting it down and out of my head isn’t spectacular. It’s pretty miraculous to me, actually (I have NO IDEA how they come together). But I really enjoy not stressing so much about it and just enjoying it. (Or not being angry at characters for doing something you didn’t want them to, like . . . exist, in some cases.)
It also helps that I’m meticulous and don’t mind doing tasks a lot of people would consider monotonous. (Repeating the same sentence ten times in a row to make sure the commas are in the right place for speaking opposed to technicality, then going back and changing them, then changing them again, or ensuring tiny details line up? That’s right up my alley.) I enjoy it and don’t find it monotonous at all. It’s fun.
One of the major things is brain-speed opposed to hand-speed.
I type VERY fast. It’s helpful in a lot of ways (getting stories written). It’s unhelpful in a LOT of ways. That’s how I end up typing ‘you’ rather than ‘to’ or ‘be’ rather than ‘me’ (or more than rather than other than and to rather than do like I caught myself doing in this entry after running through it).
When I’m typing, my hands work faster than my brain (which ensures MANY edits are in order). When it comes to quality? It’s a bit . . . lacking. That’s why you’ll never see me let anyone touch a first or second draft of my work. I won’t even let people near them to touch. I have a hard enough time posting blog entries for that reason.
When I’m actually writing, my brain works faster. That pushes the quality up, and it takes those MANY edits to bring the work as a whole up to speed. This is part of the reason I edit on paper, along with being able to catch more (and finding that my brain usually works better when I’m not staring at a screen . . . I’ve said brain a lot in this entry, sorry).
That’s all just the way that I function with it. I’m definitely not claiming it’s the right way, but it’s the right way for me and I absolutely love it. (Another fantastic thing about this is that there is no right way. If anyone says differently, I say they’re full of . . . . something not-nice.)
But as much as I love editing, as I said, it doesn’t take the place of writing. I’m still having withdrawals, but I know that I’ll eventually get done with these inch-throughs and can get back to writing another story. Eventually. At some point. Sometime. One day.
I DO think I’m going to have another go at the trilogy I wrote over the summer before I start writing again as well. I want to get them ready and hopefully release the first of those after the second in the Reave series (possibly after the third, but we shall see). There is a major flub in the last of that trilogy and I’ve been trying to figure out how to fix it for several months. I finally have an idea, but it’s not exactly ideal. Anyway, that’s the plan!
For anyone out there who’s struggling through some less-than-ideal part of the process, just remember that everything passes and one bad thing doesn’t take away from the whole. And I do think there’s good to be found, even in the bad stuff. That can really apply to anything. (I keep telling myself that . . .)
So that’s what I’ve been doing, and it’s what I’ll be doing for I don’t even know how long.