Thursday, February 26, 2009

Starting Point

Here's my status as a writer: unpublished. Duh. But I'm getting closer to that goal all the time. I'm currently editing my first Urban Fantasy novel (presently unnamed which is driving me crazy) and it's about to go out to my critique group for input. I've got a couple of SF short stories written and I'm working on the 3rd in that series - I might just decided to make one big novel out of it, since it seems that I'm better at writing novels than short stories. 

Then I have two laughably bad more traditional fantasy novels backed up at home that will probably never again see the light of day. I liked the world and characters I made quite a bit but they'd require major overhaul to make them publishable. I have a mountain lion type character in them who's bonded to a human. But this poor animal is just a human in animal skin - all her thoughts, reasoning and motivations are human, not feline. Big problemo there. Two entire books of that, and she's one of the main chars. I can't imagine trying to go back and fix that through edits. I might as well just do a complete re-write. ANYWAYS.

So here's what I found out about editing:
  1. When you're new to editing, it's almost harder than writing the novel itself (don't know if that changes)
  2. I edit better on paper than on the pc
  3. It's tricksy
  4. I'm not good at it
I was doing okay with it, thanks to Paperback Writer (also try her workshop - lot's of good stuff and links to more good stuff in there) and all her advice to writers (I stalk her blog daily). But at some points, I couldn't decide quite how to fix a problem at the time I was editing. I'd end up bracketing whole paragraphs and leaving myself a note like"Fix Voice" or "Too emotional - over the top", figuring I'd fix it while inputting the edits. Then I finally got around to inputting the edits (some 2 weeks later thanks to a full-time job, kids, husband, housework -my husband is thinking "What? She does housework?" - other stuff, etc), and found out that I had a problem. I wasn't entrenched in the story anymore. I hadn't been immersed in it for days and days. I had forgotten the character's voices or why they shouldn't sound like my five year old at her whiniest, because, hey, that sounds perfectly normal to me... Yeah, so my advice to you is fix it while you're editing and the work is immediate in your mind. Now, PW had said this in her posts. But I got lazy and didn't do it. Big mistake.

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