During the creative process of writing the fourth novel in the Crater Lake series – No Compass to Right – I found that reflections to share on this blog tripped from my fingertips to the keys of my laptop on a regular basis. Line-by-line editing was definitely a different kind of beast. Though easily one of the most important parts of the process required to bring a finished manuscript to fruition, I’d be lying if I didn’t come clean about the amount of work involved. Editing does not leave room to think about anything else.
Deconstruction versus construction – no wonder editing is difficult. There is an excitement that buoys the work of creating pages and pages from nothing but the thoughts in my head. Sitting down to take that creation apart line-by-line does not carry the same euphoric glow.
At the same time, editing is satisfying in the way that polishing a piece of silver to glowing perfection is satisfying or standing back to admire a well-hung clothesline flapping in the breeze is satisfying. Examining the words and ideas that make up my novel, sentence-by-sentence, with the aim of scraping away all that is superfluous so that the prose snaps with meaning, that is a exhilarating experience.
During the editing stage, another phenomenon comes into play. After a few weeks of intense editing, looking so closely at my own work begins to make me squirm with unease. It’s that kind of phenomenon that occurs when you examine a single word over and over and before you know it, you can’t be sure it’s spelled right. If I wasn’t working so closely with my editor who is very affirming – throwing in a compliment now and then – I might dump the whole novel!
From editing, I went straight into formatting. I’ll talk more about that in my next post. For now, I’m going to leave you with more wind chimes and the reminder that you can now pre-order a copy of the 4th book in the Crater Lake Series – No Compass to Right.