Yesterday I edited approximately 130 pages of my novel. This is good, since I was getting a little worried about finishing by the end of the week (my new fake deadline) but it’s also sort of weird.
The day before that, feeling like I put in about the same effort, I edited about 30 pages. In fact I always feel like I’ve made leaps and flights of progress only to discover I’ve only managed a chapter or two. It seems strange that movement can be so unpredictable.
Some of it might just be attitude, or more accurately, momentum. Today I hit a good stride, so I was excited to get BACK to work each time I stopped for a break. I went into editing fast and easily.
Still, that’s a pretty big gap. I think another part, the large part, of the difference comes from the makeup of the novel itself. The beginning of the novel went more quickly than I expected, making me think the whole editing process wouldn’t be too much of an ordeal. Then it slogged along for ages. I edited over a third of the book TODAY.
That is much less odd when I look at the bits I was editing. The first few chapters, the parts I flew through first, were edited and re-edited every time I tried to write, because starting out, I needed to re-read everything to get a start. The absolute beginning was written last, after I had the whole story laid out before me. Likewise, the ending, the last third I edited today, was mostly written when I had a clear picture of my story to work from. I knew the details, the character motivations, the plot obviously, and the little tidbits I needed to throw in for consistancy. This was all automatic, and as I wrote, it let me focus more on the language.
So it’s not surprising that the middle was the rough part. The middle is what I wrote when I had only the fuzziest idea of what was happening. I had a story, but no actions, those I had to make up as I went along. Characters were developing, not developed. Details changed constantly.
I’m feeling good right now, not only because I’m fresh off a day of success, but because I LIKE it. I LIKE my novel. This sounds obvious, why would I write it if I didn’t like it, right? I keep thinking I’m sick of the damn thing, then I pick it up and realize I still love it. I get exhillerated when I come to the end, I’m moved by the lead up scenes in the middle. I’m drawn in by my own beggining. I hope this means it’s good, not that I’m just totally self absorbed.
I’m not quite done yet. Editing is finished, now I have a few scenes to add, to fill in the holes I realize I’ve left in the story. To make slower patches run better. To make it something people might want to read. Wish me luck.