I’m at the stage of writing that I’m discovering is the hardest for me. The story is done. There are few, if any, surprises left to discover.
But, there are errors. Many, many errors. I’ve used a few beta-readers. I have their notes. I have a few notes of my own. I know to make this novel better I. Red to finish combing through these pages and tweak. Without that, errors will crowd out the goodness I believe is in this work.
But it is hard. And dull. It lacks the spark of creation and thrill of discovery. Editing doesn’t feel like art to me, even though I know it is an extremely important element of the art that is writing. On top of that, because it shines the flashlight on what’s bad, it quickly leads me to doubt whether anything is good.
And it’s lonely.
There are a few brief moments when interacting with beta-readers that feels social. But the rest is between me and the words.
Still, during the may first pass the story feels alive. I’m not just writing a tale, in channeling events. The flow of the story exists me and the characters manage to surprise me, even though on some level I am the one dictating those actions. Because of the vibrancy of the written world, it feels social. Characters are more than constructs of text. On some level they have to be real for the story to come out. I have to believe in them.
In editing, that illusion is stripped away. I go from being the Dreamer to He Who Fixes. The reality of the character is scarificed for the necessity of the written word.
The edits tear apart so they can rebuild as something greater.
And it happens in a small room where the echo of self-doubt struggles against the push of just a few more pages for today.
And the story isn’t ready yet.
Maybe in a week or two.
Just me and the words.