Sunday, June 25, 2017

I came. I saw. I edited.

Not even about to lie.  I don't much care for editing.  I really don't mind it the third or fourth time. The seventh time.  But when we start tumbling into double digits, I begin to lose my sense of humor.

My creative process looks a little something like this:

1.  Title
2.  Start writing hellbent to leather.  Clear about 7,000 words before I come up for air.
3.  Slow down a bit and ponder the living hell out of the story 24/7.
4.  Jot notes on my phone, in notebooks, on post-its, my hand, and anything else I can write on.
5.  Write until around 30,000.  This is the "sagging middle" for me.
6.  Small break.
7.  15,000 more words.  At this point, it's usually not chronological.  I'll have the ending before I have the last quarter.
8.  Get back in the groove and finish up.
9.  LEAVE IT THE HELL ALONE FOR AT LEAST TWO WEEKS--IF NOT LONGER

Both my books and I need time apart at this point.  We've been each other's everything for months. Most times I'll cleanse my literary palate by working on one or two other stories.
I find that I clean edit better if I haven't had to look at the same work every day for months on end. Because you begin to catch things you might not have before.  Pacing.  Verb tense.  Wrong names for characters.  *shrug*  It happens.

Writers can be too close to their work.  It's incredibly easy to be consumed by the stories.  Honestly, it's quite addictive.
Think about the one thing that fills your soul with happiness.  Do you like to make music?  Knit?  Garden?  Imagine being surrounded by that all the time.  The "real world" is far less attractive then, isn't it?

I'm around 35,000 words on the third Rivers Sisters book.  But then I became distracted by thoughts and ideas for another story.  It's a stand-alone, but it's Paranormal/Fantasy.  And I can't quite give up space in my head for all the thoughts and ideas.  I've also learned never to shut them out.  I jot.  If the jotting turns into something larger, then I go with it.

I've learned to listen to the rhythm of the writing and my place in it.  I've learned to listen for the "click" I mentally have when I'm on the right track.  And, damn it, I've learned to edit when all I want to do is let my stories loose upon the world.

Always writing*

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