Editing is a curse word for writers of all genres. If you’re not a writer or you flunked English, I’ll give you a rundown. Editing is where you get to pick apart your story and recant your life of writing. Ok, not all the time, but a good majority. Editing is right up there with synopsis and query. Yeah, we don’t discuss the cursed way publishers make writers squirm with the sight of those terms.
For the last month or so, I’ve been diligently editing two of my books. I feel like all I’m doing lately is editing. Quite honestly, I’m about ready to pull my hair out, which would be a shame because I doubt I could rock the GI Jane look. The first story is the second edit and the other one is the third, I think. Either way, I’m dreaming of comma splices and plot schemes instead of hunky men in firefighter outfits.
The edit I finished two-ish days ago is the sequel to the first novel I ever wrote circa 2006. I absolutely adore the sequel. As in, I want to marry each character individually because they rock my socks (and other things) off. Acknowledging that brilliance, I returned to my first book ever written by these hands (which currently sport paper cuts). I began my grueling task of editing the crap out of #Amidst. SOMEONE GET ME OUT OF THIS HELL! I literally want to stab myself in the eye. How did I ever believe the current form was publish worthy?! Oh, right, 17 year old me. Hahahahaha. I was such an idiot. This is the most painstakingly horrific edit I have ever endured. There is seriously more blue/black pen on the paper than actual typed words. I opted against red because obviously it looks like the story is bleeding to death.
As I torture myself with my grammatical and hazardous plot woes, I recall now why I shoved this story to the side. It was because of the edits from the depths of hell. Ironically, more people know I’ve written #Amidst than any of my other stories because both my English teachers in high school read it and proceeded to brag to their students of my creativity. Ok, Mrs. B and Mrs. N., we need to talk about the freaking story line here. How could you not tell me it is equivalent to watching a horse wear high heels while trying to walk across a frozen lake?! Legit, my preface will not be thanking you for setting me straight. It may be because of your belief in me, though.
Back on topic, I admit that I don’t like to edit. Who the hell does? You strip down your story piece by piece. By the end, you honestly think you’re writing is as good as a 5yr old. But editing is essential to a story. Without a properly edited story, you look like Bambi watching his mother get shot when publishers reject you. Granted, that still happens even AFTER you edit until you bleed. I think I speak for all publishers when I say, “If you don’t edit, we ain’t gonna look, sweetheart”. I may have ad-libbed there a bit.
Knowing that publishers want a well-honed story, I return to my first love. Like many first loves, it breaks your heart and makes you wish you never knew them. Since I wrote the sequel, we’ll call it #Among, nearly eight years later, I have a better idea of what the first book should be. The same can be said about love lives, but we’re veering off topic there. Writing the second book is almost more enjoyable because you know precisely where the characters are going. So, then the difficult part is going back to the first book and making sure everything aligns with the story line and plot. Easier said than done. Especially, when the first book is all over the place. Oh, did I mention there’s a book #3 somewhere down the line?
So, I’m putting my big girl panties on (Victoria’s Secret NOT granny panties), and I’m re-writing my baby. Currently, I’m on page 73 out of 173. Woo! Totally almost there. Until I achieve that mountaintop and breathe the thin air of success, I will be bleeding ink and crying wine.
Until next time, the Skye’s the limit 😉