Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Editing with Lizzy and Darcy

I'm at the editing stage of my latest work in progress. Surely this has to be the most trying and difficult part of writing a book. It's when I feel I'm completely on my own - and I feel a little bit lonely. I start to read it through, feel quite pleased with how it's all going, and then the doubts start to creep in. That part doesn't feel quite right - I remember when I was writing it that I thought I'd written something memorable, but no, it's reading like a pile of pants as my youngest might say. OK, I think that's better - then the next chapter doesn't seem to work. Lizzy, would you really have said that? And Darcy, have I painted you a little too grave? Time for a coffee, I think, and didn't I promise to phone someone? I waste an hour or two with important jobs that I convince myself couldn't possibly be done at any other time before I sit down to work again. I'm in a ruthless mood! I start slashing away cutting out large chunks of text, hours of work that once seemed so right. There's something wrong with the timeline and I suddenly realise that one event couldn't possibly have happened. What I thought was careful planning and plotting has gone completely awry! This is when I start to write lists going over and over my notes and wondering how I'm going to resolve everything. It's all going so horribly wrong. Back to the typescript - oh yes, I like this part, I'm happy, not even a pen mark on the next twenty pages. And, I wouldn't admit it to everybody, but I actually laugh out loud at that bit - yes, I'm on a roll!!! Reward myself with a fat bar of chocolate. So the first hurdles were just a blip, I think, until I come to a bit of sticky re-writing that I just don't want to do. Hold my head in my hands. The sun's over the yard arm - a glass of wine will help, I'm positive - mmm, yes, lovely, things definitely don't seem quite as bad now. I've done it at last, I'm satisfied it says what I want, but then, is it now too long? Could I cut it back a little? I'm reading again, nearly there, just another fifty pages and I'm finished - well, before I bring it out and start all over again!

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