Edits are the mountain that stands in your path, the one not visible while creating your world. But the voices say to climb on, each step is one step closer to your goal
It is really amazing what the mind comes up with, when faced with the task of editing. I knew that there were holes that I just couldn’t see, places that needed a bit of word spackle, or perhaps the combined effort of a bulldozer and some without. I thought that I was prepared for the reality of revamping and modification, but, as it turns out, I was sadly mistaken. Now I stare at the pages with well meaning comments and evil red marker and think that perhaps it would be easier to start from the beginning, to forget about this world, as I move on to the next with all the knowledge that I have gained from this experience. HA.
So, yeah… the voices didn’t like that idea. My imagination has informed me that I will not be allowed to rest until their personalities and adventures are portrayed properly on the page. Marin doesn’t want to see her home thrown out, replaced by those of Jodina. Thankfully, I believe we have reached a compromise. Marin and I will continue to work towards the ‘agent’ finish line, even though that will require edits, query hell, and daunting synopsis configuration. And as a reward for good behavior – though hers or mine, I am still unclear – she will have the opportunity to one day meet Jodina, maybe.
Marin now has three different stories, all in their rough draft form, as well as a short story or two. Which is great, until…. until you stop to count up the number of edits that will be required to polish everything to perfection. I had this insane idea that in order to participate in #campnanowrimo I needed to create something new. As a result, my fingers are numb, my edit pile is crush worthy, and my Jodina character is throwing a fit. I managed to finish the rough draft for Marin’s second adventure the day before the July camp for writers began. I was so excited that I was now able to start from page one of a completely different story. I mean, it only made sense, right. I needed to be able to count my wordage, I needed to keep track of my progress.
June and July Wrimo’s back to back, 50k words each. My fingers flew, my ideas grew and connected, and page after page continued to build Marin’s world. I was even dreaming of the next chapter, the next disaster, the next … yeah, it was a bit much. And Jodina decided that she was through waiting. She had her own issues that needed to be explained and dealt with. And frankly, Jodina can be as bitchy as Marin is soft hearted. (Though, Marin is definitely starting to develop a stronger attitude.)
In order to focus enough to complete Marin’s third story, I was forced to give Jodina a quick short story. My first. Well, not my first attempt, but definitely my first success. I find the concept of a word limit to be one of the hardest writing suppressions that I have faced thus far. Learning the rope as I go, following the examples of my favorite authors, and growing with each story I write, can be a little frightening. I was convinced that I was never going to learn the art of the short story, and I applaud anyone that can produce a diverse and compelling world with fewer than five thousand words.
It is only fair to admit that my first attempt ended up with enough length to be considered a novelette, with the second attempt following close behind. My third attempt was only a few hundred words over the line, but it felt rushed and confusing. This experiment, in short story creation, would have been okay. At least, it would have if I was willing to lose half of the first story, or rework the plot of one of the others. But I loved each one, I wanted to keep them as they were, even if they were kept for my eyes only. And there in lies the problem. I created these worlds, built them and refined them, only now they need to be changed, but what if I lose a piece of this new home? What then? Grr.
The thought of changing something in Marin’s world felt even worse, but some of the edit are necessary, while others are no more than opinion. After some deep breathing, a few depressed tears, and perhaps a curse word or two, I forced myself to reexamine the suggestion that I was given, and while a few of them were promptly put in the no-way-in-hell pile, the rest of were received with a clearer mind set. So we will refine, and revamp. We will fluff out certain personalities, while restraining repetitive thought. All the while, keeping Jodina close at hand, just in case the edits become a depressing void, preying on Marin’s world. 😛 (everyone needs and outlet)
Anywho, happy writing everyone. Remember that writing can be cathartic. From post-its to poems, from outlines to epics, the world is full of stories and other artistic forms of expression. I prefer writing and oil paints above the rest, but the ability to create is everywhere, and I am a big fan of hobby and art, in general. Tracey