Woes in Editing

The woes of being a multi-drafter.

I can start a story over and over and over again as long as I don’t have an ending. The moment I have an ending, however, suddenly I just want the beginning to magically poof and be perfect. This is not the case.

I had a beginning, one I was very pleased with. I thought I had fixed the pacing issues, I had things happening, all around a good solid chapter. There was only one problem with it: it was a beginning to another book. My first chapter was, without meaning to be, a red herring. I set up my world well, but the problem was, that world only mattered for twenty pages, then I needed to set up another world. This was a disservice two-fold: 1) I had created this world only to rip it away and really never discuss it again, 2) There is no need to world-build twice if only one setting is important to the story.

So my struggle has been how to set up the events without giving too much setting about the starting position, while making the Victorian set up interesting and engaging. It’s not coming easily to me. My character is having a hard time reacting with anything other than apathy. I need to find the chord that will strike her and make her really jump into action. And make me jump into action.

The nice thing, beyond the beginning, is I had decided on my voice by the time I started my big writing jam earlier this summer. As I get deeper into the edits, the voice is closer to what I want, and I’m doing less and less editing than I was in the beginning.

It’s a very different process than writing. The ideas and thoughts are all done, and it’s up to me to decide what is important and what isn’t. What will flesh out the character and what will create melodrama? What will enhance a scene and what will bog it down? What is a proper identity trait and what is author interjection? It’s been a hard process, but once I finish a chapter I feel great about it.

And then my workshop rips it apart. C’est la vie.

One Comment on “Woes in Editing

  1. Again, totally not coming through Google Reader. Found this because you tweeted it.

    Anyway — I hate editing/revising. Seriously. I have done it. Of course I have. But I hate it. It’s like, I told the story, now let’s do another one …

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