I’m in the middle of editing the sequel and this time it feels more like an endurance run than a sprint. I feel like during my first novel I has so excited about the very idea of having a novel out into the world the editing was a mad dash to get it out there before the opportunity dried up. Obviously, slow and steady is the safer course, but it does weary the should a bit.
I’m trying to be more aware of what I’m doing this time during the editing process. In a way I view editing as weeding a garden. Just hacking and slashing and anger at all the weeds keeping my garden from being beautiful. Once those were yanked about it became about damage control. Putting back together what was almost sundered. I’m being overly dramatic, but I do like writing about big-ass dragons, so what do you expect?
But, like I said, I am trying to be more aware. I still view editing like weeding a garden, but I am trying to put away the anger. Or at least put away the self-hate that tells me if I were a better writer all the editing wouldn’t be necessary. Because that bit is a lie. Editing is always necessary. My head know that. Now if I can just get my heart to believe it.
So I clip and mend sentences. I try and nurture the wounded plot points and make them stronger. I make sure that I did in fact plant the seeds I intended to. I’ve already caught one reveal where all the set-up never made it out of my head and on to the paper.
But I’m also trying to be aware of what I want my style to be. What will set me apart from the other writers out there. Deciding and discovering on a style is a rough road. I know I should be my own biggest critic, but I also want to be my biggest fan. I want to write a book that if I were to be reading, I would love. I can only hope that others want to read the same style.
I want my book to feel conversational, like you are hearing the story while you are reading it. I want it to border on verbose without slipping into being overly wordy. I want sprinkles of purple prose to run into starkness. And i want there to be a rhythm. I want there to be a patter that sings the words off the page.
And I want people to enjoy the book even as the occasional element unsettles them.
Sounds simple, right?
And so I read and edit and glower and edit some more. I think about passages over and over again. I ponder plot points as I condition my hair. Be sure that I have taken showers just because for whatever reason ideas come to me there.
I want to make this book the best I can make it. And then I want to make the next one even better. And I’m confident I can do that.
Then I think how I still need to figure out how to get it into readers’ hands. My stomach grows cold because that is where I am truly grasping at straws.