I am editing my novel. It has taken time to get the rhythm of that right. I am thinking of it as polishing.
During the tedious spellcheck period, it was six weeks of daily tedious work.
(Yes, I wrote the novel at the speed of wild horses galloping, not stopping to spell or punctuate, oh my! and then had to go back and pick up after every hoofprint later.)
This, however, is fun.
I am finding I can only go a section or a few pages at a time though. When I go say ten pages, (which I do at times), I find I have to go back and reveiw them and re-edit the same ten pages several different days.
I like to read through what I have edited the day/days before and see how it flows when I sit down each day. If it is flowing correctly, I move on.
And then, every so many days, I realize I need to go back to the beginning and read straight through for a few days.
I pick up details I missed. I have a few characters (minor) whose names organically changed as I wrote and so need to make consistencies. I struggle with whether a thing should be capitalized throughout the novel or just in places –like if you speak of The North or the north or human or Human– any thoughts out there?
I just spent the past week -Nathan Branden's blog and other wells of information on craft- absorbing whole huge amounts about dialogue. It compelled me to then go back in and revisit my dialogue from new perspectives. Some of it worked wonderfully! (Yeah for intuition!)
But I could now see how other passages of dialogue needed to be changed to hold the melody and pacing better.
I am learning as I'm going.
I work on it, actively at least M-Thurs for 1 to 2 hours it seems. On Friday, I check in with myself to see how it is resting. If I feel it is "right," I can go on. But sometimes I need to let it sit a day or two, or go back again (and again).
The hardest thing is this: I know it will take me the full three months to do this part. So far I am three weeks in. I had hoped it would take me 1-2 months. But I want, as I said, to polish this, not just push it around.
And I have to say, it is a long dedication. This –the novel– is now seven months and two more ahead just to that destination.
May marks a year of dedicating myself on a new level to my writing. I have kind of promised myself this book and through the end of 2008 to see where it takes me, all this.
I have my doubts along the way. And my hopes.
It would help me if I had more places to walk. I have had to postpone my May trip this year.
I am trying to determine if I can even go to California as I had hoped. But if not, I may very well go to the ocean house in North Carolina for September or/and October.
In the meantime, against my wild pulling to get out of the house, I have tethered myself to these also delicious projects.
Ahh, and art too.