I began writing this post last week but never had time to make it past line one. I am certain that since then my thoughts have changed considerably, and I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to Laura Best, and Ev Bishop, two fantastic bloggers and writers (yes, I have been lucky enough to read both of their work) for honouring me with the Prolific Blogger Award. I will be passing it on to seven others shortly.
Ok, back to post…. It’s not that I’ve really been doing nothing. I have been very busy, just not in my usual busy kind of way. I have been editing the first draft of my second novel. A little while back I mentioned that when I began this process I spent an enormous amount of time re-writing the opening pages. Since then, I have not allowed myself any form of re-writing at all. I even use the strike through feature if I think something needs to be cut. What I have been doing is reading and taking footnotes and notes. To date, I have read through 174 pages of an odd 350 and have 420 footnotes. I keep waiting for the computer to tell me that I have reached a limit.
I am also writing my thoughts in a journal as I read. Doing these two things has been probably one of the most productive steps I have ever taken in my writing. Seems very simple doesn’t it? Yet, in my first novel I did not progress in this way. I made the changes as I went. This time, I find by not making any changes into the text I am able to focus on it so much better. I clearly see thoughts and dialogue that is out of character, scenes that make no sense, etc, etc. Plus, I have been able to see the larger picture and the little details that are absent from the first draft that would make it so much stronger. I am actually exited when I know I have an editing session coming up! I never would have thought. I have never had an averssion to editing, yet it was not my favorite. Writing was. At the moment though I am connecting with my characters even more than when I was writing the draft.
In the meantime I have been reading A Writer’s Guide to Fiction: A concise and practical guide for novelists and short-story writers, by Elizabeth Lyon. I wanted to quote from the text as I have been finding her a great inspiration.
“Most stories have two levels: the external plot and the internal character need. Both levels culminate in the character – and reader – learning something fundamental about self and life. …. By my story, by my plot, you might be transformed.”
This is my deepest desire in my writing. That my story is so real as to be an experience. I know that this is the case for me as the writer, entering a world, and now refining it, and in some instances redefining it.