The thing I think I love most about writing is editing. Don’t get me wrong, I love the whole creative imagining of it all–coming up with the story, hearing the characters say things as I’m writing their dialogue, watching their expressions and actions on the film-like pictures in my mind. It’s fun thinking it up and getting it down. (Though I will admit that sometimes, after I’ve spent an evening writing, I’m absolutely positive that everything I’ve just gotten down on the page is crap, and I go to bed sure that I’m the worst writer ever. But by the next day, what’s waiting for me on my computer is surprisingly not crappish. Writing has its roller coaster qualities.)
But editing? Oh, editing. How I love thee, Editing. I can take a not-quite-smooth scene and turn it into something better, more polished, sometimes clever, even possibly brilliant once in a while. To be quite honest (and bare my not-very-well-hidden geekiness) achieving the perfect turn of phrase gives me a bit of a high. (Maybe even more than just “a bit.” It’s entirely probable that I’ve—on occasion, mind you—celebrated with a little happy dance at some stellar wordsmithing.) You know? It’s like practicing a piano piece until you can play it flawlessly. Like perfecting a recipe after several variations. Like drawing/painting and making those tiny adjustments that make your creation perfect. Like building something—anything—and standing back from it after it’s done and thinking holy crap, I made that.
I *love* that about editing. I find the holes in my story and fill them. I am struck with a new twist I can add to make life harder for the characters and the whole into a more interesting story. I tweak a sentence here and there, and it’s like magic. I’ve suddenly tied up the scene/plot line in a perfect bow.
I will say, though, that every time I start at the beginning of the book, the task feels slow and impossible. I mean, INTANGIBLE is 350 pages long. It always feels like it’s going to take me forever to get through it.
It doesn’t. It takes a week or two, depending on how many evenings I get to work on it (and depending on how much editing it needs). I’m at the beginning of the sixth draft right now, a little beyond page 20, so it’s feeling a little bit like that as I edit this beast.
But it’s good. (Really, really good.) And I’m making it even better. Just for you. Can’t wait for you to see.
Have a great day, everyone!