Editing > Everything Else

Hello, friends! I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth (or run off in the TARDIS, which is a way cooler method of falling off the earth). I have been editing like MAD.

With first drafts, even second drafts, I can let time stretch between working on them without too many problems. I know some people can’t, because they find the inspiration and the flow are gone, but it works for me. What I can’t do is start major edits and then wait. Once I start, I have to work like a madwoman to get them all done before I lose the thread of how it’s supposed to work.

Which is probably why I procrastinate editing so often.

I’ve discovered some interesting things about this book while editing it. Number One – it isn’t a YA after all. This surprised me, but my goodness, the book felt much more comfortable in its own skin once I stopped trying to force it into a genre and let my heroine grow up by a couple years. I could, I suppose, label it NA, but really, it’s a light-hearted historical fantasy adventure, and I don’t think I need to add any more labels to it than that – and when marketing it, I will probably drop the “light-hearted!”

The other thing that surprised me is that it is equally the female AND the male protagonists’ story. At first, it was all about Maia, and Len just got a few chapters here and there when I needed to show something from somebody else’s perspective. Now I’m splitting it up so they get strictly alternating chapters, and I love the pattern that has emerged. I’ve adored Maia from the time I started writing her, and now I’m falling for Len as well.

One other interesting thing – though this didn’t surprise me – is that I tend to write tense emotional scenes from an observer’s point of view, rather than the participant’s. I know that I do that – I always shy away from writing too deep emotions – but I’m trying to get better. I left in ONE emotional scene from the observer’s perspective, partially because it gave him a better insight into the characters, but I’m trying REALLY hard to rewrite the others so that they are more immediate and personal.

So much for the writing end of things. On the reading end, I finished Diana Wynne Jones’ collection of essays and am partway through Susan Cooper’s. Then it’s on to The Wand in the Word. (Any recommendations for good essay collections after that?) I’m sure it will not shock any of you to know that as a result of these readings, not only do I want to immerse myself in mythology this winter, I’m feeling inspired to turn back to some of my MG fantasies after I’ve finished my current two projects. There’s no guarantee that I WILL – I have a lot on my plate, writing-wise and life-wise as it is – but I am remembering just why I love MG fantasy so much, and why I think it is so important.

I’m still keeping up with taking one photo a day and posting it on my other blog – I’ve only missed one day so far, which is pretty impressive for me. I even wrote a poem the other day and posted it!

This winter, thus far, is proving to be pretty good for me, creatively speaking. It’s a nice change. I think I’ll take it.

How has the winter (or summer, if you live on the other side of the globe) been for you so far?

A handful of my daily pictures that HAVEN’T made it to the other blog.

7 thoughts on “Editing > Everything Else”

  1. Thanks! It seemed so obvious to me that it WOULD be a YA story, and I was truly shocked when I started editing it and found that no, not so much. Just goes to show that even we writers can be surprised by our stories still!

  2. I'm cheering, and intrigued by the eventual results! Yay historical fantasy-adventure! I love "The Wand and the Word," sometimes think I ought to buy it.I've been sick most of this year, which means I haven't really gotten started on ANY major creative changes in my life. And I need to. Oh, I did sort of join a group vlog. I'll post more about that later. But THERE'S some creativity, a bit.

  3. I'm VERY excited to get to The Wand and the Word. The only downside to single-author essay collections is that they do get a little repetitive after a bit. Although you KNOW if anyone published a collection of essays and talks by Lloyd Alexander I'd buy it in a HEARTBEAT, no matter how repetitive it got!Get well and stay well! This winter has been horrific health-wise. I'm just getting over yet another cold myself, and wondering irritably why my body's first reaction to any sickness or lack of sleep or even extra stress is a fever. Really? Do I really need to have my temperature skyrocket just because I'm a little tired?Back to you – I do hope you get well soon. It is so hard to be creative at all when one's physical energy is at a low ebb from sickness.

  4. I am so cold right now! But I still like winter better than summer. Good luck on your revisions and edits! Sounds like you are letting it do what it wants to do, organically. :)

  5. Wool socks, silk long johns, scarves indoors AND out, fingerless gloves all day long, and I'm still freezing all the time. And yes, I would still take winter over summer. I get heat sickness too easily to ever love summer wholly.

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