I despise editing my own writing sometimes. And by editing I mean re-writing, and we all know that “writing is re-writing.”
I love early draft writing, to see a new thing made of words appear in the world. It has never existed before, but here it is lining up left to right, top to bottom. It’s a beautiful process, this extruding of nebulous Mind into the realm of Matter, and the occasional magic ESP that results. (We write in hopes of finding readers.) But the poor thing is going to have to by edited in due course, and that part is much different.
Sometimes there’s satisfaction in re-writing, in seeing the thing improve and go forth and live on without me. Poems are like that, and flash fiction often is. But not so much this novel that I’ve been working on for far too long.
The novel is basically written, but far from finished. I’ve got about 35 chapters, around 90,000 words. Many of the words are good ones, and in close proximity to other words whose relationships are positive and helpful. But some of the words are the wrong words, or slightly out of order. And after all this time, the effort to rectify this situation has become as dull as painting a house with a horse’s hair.
There are problems with continuity of style, voice, and perspective. I’ve written some parts first person because the protagonist felt so close to me. Other parts, third person omniscient because he is not me, and I doubt either of us would trade what troubles or consoles us.
Let’s just say I love the house, but the subtleties of color often seem insurmountable.
Can you relate?
Right now, I relate. I usually enjoy the rewriting process but for the current thing I’m rewriting, I’m finding I have to almost start over every time I sit down with it. I feel like I need an all-day, all-night session but I can no longer really pull those off!!