I am finally coming out if a long and difficult editing process which, I have to admit, has really helped me grow as a writer. I really think my next book will be leaps and bounds ahead of my last. It makes me appreciate how much of what we do is a personal journey which is really never completely fulfilled. It also feels great to apply what I’ve learned on my next WIP which is fully under pen (so to speak) at the moment. Some day, I’ll be actually pretty good at this whole writing thing. 🙂
I know a few will ask me what I learned, so here goes.
1) Sometimes what you really need is to cut entire sequences, chapters, and possibly characters. Maybe, the very thing that is wrong is what you tried to do right.
2) Challenge yourself to do things differently. I tried to do something different and it crashed into a large ball of flames. But … I learned a lot in the process. I may have also, unintentionally, sent my editor a few more paces closer to his destiny as a “client” at the funny farm. Sorry bout that …
3) Never underestimate the value of having the annoying Word robot voice read back your entire manuscript to you. If it sounds wrong when he reads it back to you then chances are that the reader will read it wrong as well.
- Actually, I kind of like his voice. Someday, when I have a robot butler, he’ll sound just like that.
4) I, Bryan Scott Nowak, am nowhere near as clever as I think I am.
AND… I, Bryan Scott Nowak, am way more clever than I think I am.
5) Even if your editor is the greatest editor to ever edit anything editable, you’re not going to accept all of their suggestions. The reality is that I use different words and phrases based wholly on my experiences in life and I am going to use them.
6) Process … process … process. You need to have a process. Writing the first draft is non-formulaic. You’ll do it different every time. However, everything after that point needs to follow a specific and repeatable process. Everyone’s process is different and it is specific to you, but if you find something repeatable and thorough, then you stick with it.
*BTW, I wish to apologize to my OCD friends for posting a six point list. I know it’ll drive you crazy that it is not five points or ten.
And now, back to my current WIP. It is so much fun to be able to turn back to my first draft and be totally in the writing mode again!
-Your Humble Servant,