Sunday, March 16, 2014

Editing Wind

I have been working really, really hard on my novel.

The past few months have been all about world building. Figuring out how society works in my work. Ironing out ancient history. I challenged myself to name all of the year’s holidays in my world. I listed what musical instruments there are. Who the top famous 5 living and top 5 dead musicians are. I knitted my giant family tree together. For each of the major cities in my world, I created an emblem like the ones showing on this post.

turning of the tide

But that was all the last two months, this month has been about working the prose. I’ve been line editing. Fat cutting. Rewording. Man, it feels good to know how much my book has progressed. I think I’ve been supercharged creatively because I’m about to start a new job. It makes me feel awesome to know that I have my money-needs covered now, and I can start rocking my writing without feeling the need to spend most of my day looking for work.

Then the other day I got feedback, and it gave my already high-paced wind an extra boost. Feedback is a writer’s Christmas. The best thing you can give a writer, truly. Feedback makes you feel like your endeavors aren’t completely lonely ones. It makes you think about your own work in new ways. It’s exciting. Useful beyond measure.

old copy

The one weird thing about feedback with a novel-length work, especially for an insane worker like me, is that you often have created several new drafts before any feedback is returned to you. I really don’t want to annoy my friends by sending them new drafts all the time. I don’t want to be pushy, because reading a draft of a book is a lot harder than reading a final product. Looking through notes on an old draft can really make you embarrassed. So many more mistakes, many ones you’ve already corrected. Plot holes you’ve already filled in. Questions the reader has, already answered in the new draft. The book I have now is so much better than the one I first put an ending to.

That said, feedback is so incredibly invaluable, but I also completely understand that work goes into reading, too. My friends who have sent me feedback are so incredibly kind for doing so. Thank you times a thousand. To my friends who haven’t sent me feedback, no worries, you’re still awesome too (but if anyone happens to want to read my novel, email me to get the latest draft!). Honestly, just to allow me to vent to others about writing is so good for me and helps me in other ways than editing. My friends are awesome.

Looking ahead

I feel like I have about 2-3 more read-throughs before I will claim that it is ready to submit to agents, but I’m so excited. Allow me to daydream a bit: Wouldn’t it be great to get published? Not only that, but to be able to claim that writing is my profession? I would put out a new book every year if I had all the time in the world to write. I know I would, and they’d be awesome books, too. I have so many awesome ideas. The Unravel is just one (which has true series potential).

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