Saturday, April 3, 2010

Slowing Down

Editing a novel is not speedy. For me, I have become a master at quick writes, at free writes, at putting down quickly what is in my head and it usually makes sense. Yes, it needs some editing.

And, once in a while, it's pretty good just as it comes out, and needs only minor tweaking. At least I think so.

That's for the short writes.

In 2008 I wrote 59,000+ words in 30 days. That was impressive and felt good. I liked the story. I was delighted and excited by the ending. I promised to put it aside, let it age and rest - like the apples in the drawer (thank you, Bonnie), wait until it was not breathing so hard (thank you, Mama C). And I did.

I also thought I would get it edited before 2009 NaNoWriMo started. Which I didn't. And I was okay with that. Maybe 2009 would be an even better story and I'd want to get that one ready for publication first.

It wasn't. I did pass the 50k mark well under the deadline; but the story didn't "wow" me like 2008. And I never got to the ending. I feel that story still hasn't gotten to the point; about another 25k will bring it to where it needs to be.

But the 2008 novel kept calling me.

So, I have returned to that novel. Editing. Yes - as other writers in Ariel Gore's Literary Kitchen know, I have edited small pieces and submitted them for feedback here and there.

Now is the time, however, to delve deeply. To look at the whole novel, scene by scene, and page by page. Look at where it sings and where it growls. Feel where it flows and where the rapids are too rough for clear passage. Find those contradictions and the gems.

And it is very slow. I was talking about it with writing partner, Jenny, today. It is going to take time. A lot of time. And it will be worth it, she promises. *wink*

Quick write master meets methodical editor.

Okay. I'm ready; notecards in hand and a draft copy being printed as I type.

One step. One bird. One day.

I can do this.