Give Me Back My Life!

Okay, so I’ve been gone again, this time working on the second round of edits for my first novel. It’s been…an experience.

I don’t agree with some of the editorial rules the publisher imposes, specifically regarding pronouns. I think it alters the normal flow of reading (and of writing) and forces the author to name drop over and over for perceived clarification. Have you ever read a novel where the author seems to have a penchant for using characters’ names repetitively, way more than is normal, even if there are only two people in the scene? That’s what I’m afraid might happen to my novel and to others because of publisher rules like this. (Yes, this is me wailing, “It’s not my faaaaaault!”)

So, don’t judge me. Hahaha.

However, let me not denigrate the publisher (not only because I’d be playing with kindling on a bridge, but because it’s not all bad). Not at all. My editor is funny, concise, open, and warm, and for a first foray into traditional publishing, that’s an enormous benefit. I could have had an emotionally dead harridan, but I was lucky. She has been accessible and professional. And may the gods bless her sense of humor!

The publisher is involved, reputable in their field, and full of sweet staff and authors. I really only have that one complaint (and now that I know what their rules are, I can change it as I go rather than in one long, sweeping bonanza of frustrating editing). I’m very much content and would recommend them to anyone looking to publish in the very broad gay genre (yes, I will reveal them eventually…but not in this entry. *cackle!*)

However, I’m a wordy beast, and my editor wanted me to cut out a lot, and I think she was right. It wasn’t anything particular, like an offending scene that I decided to keep against her wishes, but more general than that. I tried, and my novel is long for the genre (about 350 pages), but I think we did a good job.

I told my editor that there was a time where my writing was devoid of life, of feeling, and of description. I was writing for myself yet it was boring me to write and to read. I worked with myself and over time I managed to get the descriptions and life back. I wonder if I didn’t over compensate.

Also, there may be up to four books in this series, each with a larger part of a story, and almost all the characters are in, mentioned, or alluded to in this first volume. At the end, one could go back and pick out several instances of, “Oooooh!” I guess there’s some world building, though not that much, considering it’s contemporary.

So, the editing is done, and while it was grueling, I loved it. My days were full of something that’s endlessly fulfilling. I don’t have that nagging feeling of, “You know, if you ever wanna be a writer, you should be…you know…writing.” I have a cover art form and a marketing form I have to fill out, but that’s not that difficult because I’ve been working on them (and may have the much maligned blurb done already).

However,the editing was the big thing. I was tired, frustrated, elated, and buried. I haven’t gone out with friends as much, my DVR started to delete things, my day/real job has seemed intrusive, my weekends have been working and little relaxing (unless out of obstinate refusal), two friends are cursing at me to finish watching Netflix’s Hemlock Grove, and I started to feel like I was running up hill through waist-deep snow toward a goal that was never going to be as big as I want. At the top of that hill were not the temples of ancient Greece, but a Target in the ghetto.

Still, I’m proud, happy, and relieved. The process has been good, it has shown me my flaws and strengths as a writer, and I have emerged on the other side feeling like I’m better for it. However, I’d be lying if I said I was upset at having a life back. I just hope this whole process ends well.

~ by Darren Endymion on June 12, 2013.

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