Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Diving Into Edits

those are not my feet, just sayin

I'm about to dive into revamping that YA novel I mentioned a few weeks ago. My agent got back to me with suggestions. Let's just say there were more than a few suggestions as to how to improve the story. Everything from characterization to plot to dialogue and... you get the picture. When I get a letter like that, I nearly quit. And I've gotten many letters like that if that gives you any idea how often I have wanted to quit.

But then I have to go back to whatever made me write this particular story. What compelled me to believe strongly enough in whatever image first seized me to write those first words. And then to keep on typing word after word (after word, after word...). In the end, I'm the only one who can see that initial vision through, and I'm the only one who can make the needed changes for others to appreciate the full and complete picture that developed out of that one little epiphany. I'm the man for the job, such as it were. (See feet, above)

And so I text and call my writing buddies who get it. I whine and complain and tell them I'm quitting. Then they send me really honest emails and texts that say things like "Do the edits. You have no choice." And then they tell me stories that make me feel better about how unlikable their characters always are at first. And then they ask me what exactly my agent (or editor) said and they spend their time helping me brainstorm some solutions. Though I may not use all their suggestions, they get me started. Ultimately they hold my feet to the fire. They remind me why I do this (I'm utterly unemployable otherwise). They help me remember what I love best about writing and that the beauty of the story only becomes visible in the polishing.

And then I take a deep breath, hold my nose, and dive in. Because there is nowhere else to go. And because I know that in the depths I will meet the story I was meant to write.

I used Grammarly to grammar check this post, because you know I need all the help I can get.
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Carol Baldwin said...

yep, there is nowhere else to go. Glad you have your writing community to fall back on and make you get back into the groove!

Pam said...

I for one am glad you keep writing. "...the beauty of the story only becomes visible in the polishing." ~ love this!

There's a world of readers out there only you can touch, Marybeth. HE who has called you is faithful.

Heather said...

Good luck with your edits and thank you for your honesty in sharing your frustrations.