“Books aren’t written, they’re rewritten. It is one of the hardest things to accept." Michael Crichton
Got my first round of edits. \o/
I’m not going to lie. They were painful to look at. So many stupid mistakes, so many embarrassing typos and repetitions, so many major rewrites to do and so very many plot holes needing to be filled.
I sort of want to send flowers to my editor as an apology for having to trudge through it--is that allowed? Also, more importantly, for taking this book on despite all of that; for seeing what it could be through all the tremendous amount of shit and for trusting me to getting it there.
Believe me, these were not my first thoughts. My first thoughts were pretty much to burrow down in the fetal position in the deepest, darkest hole and never, ever see the light of day again. Thankfully, after three days, that melodrama passed. Instead, I came up with a plan.
I found that the blinding panic every time I looked at it was due to the LARGE picture of everything that needed work and how impossible it seemed and how was I even allowed to operate a pen and paper? So, I decided to break it up into manageable, and hopefully less terrifying pieces.
”People who go on to be writers are those who can forgive themselves the horror of the first draft.” Alain de Botton
My first run through--which I’m almost done with--was simple to tackle the typos, spelling mistakes, grammar and repetitions. It’s a mostly mindless task that involves a lot of “Accept and Move to Next” over and over. The main goal of this stage (besides the obvious of cleaning up the text) was to relax me and give me time to contemplate the larger issues. It has also given me time to tone down the self-loathing. I can happily report that it was a complete success. I have even stopped adding “Dumbass” to all of the notes. Such as, “Commas don’t work that way, dumbass” or, “Hey dumbass, people don’t ‘smile the smile’ or ‘laugh the laugh’ they smile and they laugh. STOP IT!”
My second run through will be devoted to dialogue. My editor kindly reminded me that I am neither John Steinbeck and William Faulkner and not EVERY single character needs to talk with ya’s and gonna’s. The third run through will be filling plot holes and dealing with timeline issues and then finally I will tie up loose ends and make sure it all still flows.
Then I will send it off, sigh
“The beautiful part of writing is that you don't have to get it right the first time unlike, say, brain surgery." Robert Cormier