Sunday, January 22, 2012

Some Thoughts on Editing

Up until two weeks ago, if asked whether or not I liked editing, I would have replied with a most definite no.

Now, I'm not so sure.

See… I've been writing Riddle Rose, and when I reached Chapter 9 I realized that there were a few things I wanted to change in the first three chapters before I posted Chapter 9.

And so I went and rewrote all of Chapter 1. I feel a lot better about it now, but I still have Chapters 2 and 3 to edit.

And all of a sudden, I don't want to keep writing until I've hammered out the first eight chapters.

This has never happened to me before. I wrote part of Chapter 10 because I had this lovely idea… but after I finished it I realized it really had nothing to do with the main story line, and that it was probably better off out of the book.

When did this happen? When did my inner editor suddenly get so much power? I don't remember the muse letting him in. I don't remember letting him in.

I never used to edit. Maybe a cursory typo check… but never for real, except when I tried to edit the disastrous remains of what was NaNo'09 (it was so disastrous it didn't have an acceptable title, which NaNo'08 did have). And that was painful. There was no story line beyond following the very strange story of Edward.

But now Riddle Rose does have a story line. It has characters and they have actual motivations now (I think. I was always crap at figuring them out), with a plot that might be somewhat predictable. But I don't care so much if it's predictable— it's fun to write.

It's just that I have this very real fear that if I finish it, I won't want to edit it. It' s happened this way with every thing I've written— I finish and then I don't want to edit.

But Riddle Rose deserves a chance, so I'm editing as I go.

And now I'm starting to wonder if perhaps I didn't make the wrong choice. On the one hand… I've finished writing at least six novels, and edited none of them. 

That's going to change in March, with NaNoEdMo coming along, but I'm trying to figure out how I can edit.

But now I'm starting to wonder… editing at the cost of writing? I'm still writing, but does it really work to write so little on a story? I was writing maybe a chapter a week at the beginning, and now I've put even that on pause so I can edit.

Is this normal? Is it just because I'm writing by chapters, with a separate chapter per Scrivener document? Is it because I'm writing so slowly? Is it because I've dubbed it my 'pet project' and I want it to be as good as it can be? Is it because I've decided to 'learn' how to edit?

Or is it all of these things?

Or is it that I'm simply more interested in these sorts of things now than I ever was before?

Whatever it is…

I guess it's quite good— at least I'm finally going to have a proper ending to a story. XD

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