Saturday, 26 April 2014

Will this editing never end?

You know I'm editing StarMark? And that it was all going swimmingly? It feels right, it's in what I now recognise as my voice, it's going well, blah, blah, blah?

I take it back.

Like a marathon runner - in spite of all the training - I've hit the wall, about three quarters of the way in.

I'm rewriting so much! Not light editing, folks, oh no. I'm literally rewriting. Yes, it's making the story stronger; the dialogue feels more realistic, I've been able to put more emotional depth into the characters, revisited their motivation for certain actions and tweaked things they couldn't possibly have known...

But it takes so flamin' long!

Now I know I'm a fairly impatient person - not the 'quick to anger' kind, but the 'I wanna get on and see the results' kind. I'm an ideas person, quite happy to come up with the bigger picture, but always needing others who support my vision to achieve the fine tuning and planning which turns my my idea into a reality.

With writing, you can't really do that.

I can't say 'here's a great idea for a story' then hand it over to someone else to write. (Though I'm sure there are many ghostwriters and biographers who can and do, most successfully...) I have to write it myself, at least up to a certain point when I can pull in my trusty beta readers and see whether they think there are plot holes or I've misused en and em dashes again...

I know it's worth the effort to edit - even to rewrite if I think the story needs it - but at this precise moment, I'm tired of StarMark. Tired of only getting a few words 'signed off' each day in the new version and finding there are still hundreds, nay, thousands to still be checked.

But I don't want StarMark to be less than it can be - I don't want to give up on a story that I believe in or allow myself too long a break from it that I lose the feel of what I'm creating here.

I mean, I still don't even know whether the changes I'm making now will make it any better. StarMark was rejected by publishers before. What makes me think they'll  be any happier with it second time round? (Assuming of course that it ever got to land on their desks again.) I could be doing all this work and making it worse. I don't think I am, but that could be due to the rather fetching rose-tinted specs I've taken to wearing... I have to keep on keeping on, or I will have failed the characters in this story by not giving them the story they deserve, as well as failing all the folk who've supported me directly and indirectly as this wordy, try-too-hard wannabe writer begins to morph into an author of reasonable quality.

My aim is to get StarMark print - and possibly digitally - ready for next year. Maybe a few hundred words a day ain't so bad after all. I certainly won't get it finished by talking or writing about it.

I'll get there - eventually.

Pic source


  1. You are not alone. I've had days of "this isn't bad at all" (pleased smile) to days of what AM I thinking of ? Trouble is the latter applies to everything I touch. Last year's wip that went to York had already had three major rewrites. Couldn't face it again so have been writing the follow up. ... Yeah, well. You'll recover, get up, get it done. Look back and feel a sense of achievement which wouldn't have happened if you'd done it all in one ...
    As Sheryl Crow said, "No-one said it would be easy" (I'd post a link but can't find one that I can hear the sound on :( )

    1. I know - we all go through it, Sandra, don't we? Mind you, having written the blog, I've sat for two hours and done a load more and got past the bit that was holding me up. Only about 30 odd pages to go...but some reader feedback might mean I have to revisit the start again. Endless cycles...