Day 16 – I wrote a book and don’t know how to edit it.

CheneyI'm Writing a Book, On Writing6 Comments

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Back in November I wrote a book. I try to write a book every November for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and have now succeeded four out of seven times. Woot! It was three and three until this year and I wasn’t happy about that. So yes, if you could do math you would have figured out that I have four completed novels. That is, if you can consider “novel” to be a story of more than 50,000 words. Yes, I have four of those.

I’m pretty embarrassed about that, because how many of them are published? None. Nada.

Beyond embarrassment, I am completely ashamed of myself that NONE of them are edited. Because I write a novel, and then after that I write another novel, and then I write another one, and so on and so forth. But I never edit any of them.

Why do I do this? This is one of those questions that I ask myself all the time, over and over again.

Because I don’t know how, because I’m scared – I have even blogged about this before, recently, right? It’s just what’s on my mind lately.

The one I wrote in November is an erotic vampire western.

Yes, from time to time, I write erotica. It’s this weird thing that I do that I don’t really want to talk about right now, but at any rate, let’s just say that writing erotica is easy and fun for me, and I love vampires so pretty much always want to write about them, and I had been watching Hell on Wheels so was considering a western. Well, you know how these things come together, the ideas.

It was funny though, because in the month leading up to NaNoWriMo people kept asking me what I was going to write about and my answer was ‘erotic vampire western’ and that is all I could give them because I had no idea myself really who my characters were going to be or where they would take me. Shortly after midnight on November 1 I started writing by candlelight in my freezing cold bedroom because Hurricane Sandy knocked out power to my neighborhood (but I’d kept my laptop charged for writing!) This story, man. It just came.

There were moments this past November that shocked the hell out of me. I mean, I was having transcending writing experiences. Sometimes I felt like I was possessed, I was writing so fast and so by the seat of my pants crazy. I realized at the time that parts of the story were going to be a hot mess, and boy I was right. There are bits of dialog in there, especially the romantic bits of dialog, that turned out anything but romantic. They were either barf-worthy cutesy sweet or redundant. (Which makes me realize how big of a difference there is between writing erotica and romance. Ugh.)

But anyway, over all, the story is pretty damn great in my humble opinion, and I don’t generally talk so highly of my own work.

It’s funny! It’s sexy! It has badass, strong, independent women and dead-sexy outlaw men. It has mystery and murder and melancholia and a menacing 1000 year old vampire that I keep picturing as Antonio Banderas when he played the vampire Armand, for some reason I just can’t get that image of him out of my head.

But alas, there is also an obscene amount of mounting and dismounting horses – I find that I just don’t know jack shit about horses, so I feel like I need to go ride a horse or something, because I’ve never ridden a horse before because they are such large powerful beasts and they scare me. I don’t want to get thrown from a horse. I’m an indoor girl and feel mildly arthritic.

So, I’m editing. You wouldn’t believe how slow this is going. I have pretty much just read it three times to myself and made little copy/line edits because I don’t know where to begin. Then there’s also the whole matter of the fact that I’m WRITING another book right now. And I’d rather be writing.

Seriously! How do authors do it???

6 Comments on “Day 16 – I wrote a book and don’t know how to edit it.”

  1. The editing process is so different than writing – sort of left brain- right brain different. And it’s hard. But sometimes, when I’m rereading, I’ll read something in what I wrote that I didn’t know I was writing – a connection or a theme and I’ll be all surprised – like, wow – this works so well – where did it come from. Those are great moments in rereading – but I know the really hard work of editing is still to come. Yuck – hard but worthwhile.

  2. The editing process is so different than writing – sort of left brain- right brain different. And it’s hard. But sometimes, when I’m rereading, I’ll read something in what I wrote that I didn’t know I was writing – a connection or a theme and I’ll be all surprised – like, wow – this works so well – where did it come from. Those are great moments in rereading – but I know the really hard work of editing is still to come. Yuck – hard but worthwhile.

  3. I actually did an editing course to help develop some ability. Reading your work out loud really helps, but I still hire a really good editor, that way I know my work is at it’s best. I actually like the first part of editing, it’s the nitty gritty when your book iis getting published, you know the final revisions that concern me. I don’t like things being wrong!

  4. I actually did an editing course to help develop some ability. Reading your work out loud really helps, but I still hire a really good editor, that way I know my work is at it’s best. I actually like the first part of editing, it’s the nitty gritty when your book iis getting published, you know the final revisions that concern me. I don’t like things being wrong!

Feel like sharing some thoughts?