Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

I thought I would do something a bit different for my first Friday post.  To that end, I’m not going to talk about the changes coming to the website.  There will be plenty of time for that in the days and weeks to come.

I don’t think I’ve made any secret of the fact that editing is not my favorite thing in the world.  In fact, at one time, nailing my fingers with a hammer actually ranked higher in my list of things to do than editing.  That’s what makes my next revelation so amazing:  I don’t hate editing as much as I thought I did.

OK, maybe amazing is a bit of a stretch, but sometimes you just have to do things in baby steps.

The truth is, I’ve been telling myself that it is high time to edit my first book “The Goddess Renewed”.  I’ve also been doing a pretty good job of finding other things to do instead of editing said book.  You may recall that I’ve admitted to being good at procrastination in past posts.

So what’s changed?  Well, for starters, I came to the realization during my 30-in-30 self-challenge that all the stories I was writing would need to be edited at some point if I wanted to see them published.  That knowledge got me thinking about “Goddess”.  What did I really want to see happen to the book?  I had spent seven years writing it, after all.  Was I prepared to leave it on a shelf pemanently to gather dust?

Sobering thoughts.

I decided that I still liked the characters.  I still wanted to give them a chance to live.  I also had more stories to tell.  In other words, I wasn’t ready to shelve the book.

With that thought firmly in mind I gritted my teeth and got down to the painful task of editing my book.  That was last Saturday (March 27th).  I spent the better part of an hour working on it and managed to get through the first ten chapters.  That was when I discovered that I don’t hate editing nearly as much as I thought I did.

To put everything in perspective, let me explain how I’m approaching the edit on this book.  First, I already know that I need to do a substantial rewrite on the story.  I came to that conclusion a couple months ago when I reread the first three chapters.  Second, I haven’t actually done any work on the story for more than a year.

Those two factors influenced the way I’ve approached the story; I’ve decided to take the story as is and outline it chapter by chapter.  I want to see if my plans to grow the characters and develop the plot worked the way I planned.  Twenty chapters in I already know that I have a lot of work to do.  There have been a number of little chapters that I wrote to forward the character development which is fine.  Unfortunately, nothing else happens so they feel VERY slow.

The process of discovering where the story is weak is why I am seeing the editing process differently.  The only reason I’m able to make these strides forward is because I let the story sleep for a time.  When I had just finished it, and even several months later, it was still too fresh in my mind for me to be objective about it.  Now, that has changed and I’m able to approach it with fresh eyes.

When I finish the outlining process I will spend some time deciding what to keep and what to discard.  I already know that I have to write new material to flesh out the story more.  I’ll be able to determine where it will fit in the story and how much I will have to add.

It should be fun and that’s why I see editing in a different light.  Until now, it was only rehashing existing work.  It didn’t feel creative.  Now that I see the creativity in it (and the possibility for improvement) I think I can actually enjoy doing it.

And while I’m working on that, my short stories can sit and rest for a while.  I should be ready for them when the rewrite of “Goddess” is done.

Have a great weekend!


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