My Editing Cave

I’ve often heard the term editing cave from writer friends. However, until this week, I never knew how much it could sink one into its depths.

I’m beginning the process of getting my first drafts from my three frenetic days of Camp Nano into shape for their eventual publication as a collection, Marble Halls. I chose my second story first, as I rarely do anything in the conventional way. Upon beginning, I was very mistaken to think that editing a story of less than a thousand words would be any less exhaustive than editing a four hundred page novel.

At first glance, I saw typos and all things glaringly obvious. This I had expected. Then I sent it to a friend. After pressing send, the errors came out to meet my eyes again. With a sigh, I cleaned those up, too. Finally! It was ready to be filed away as done. Or was it? Another reading revealed more subtle edits of tightening the language and looking for repeated words.

It was tedious work, but as I waded through my manuscript, something Rebecca Odum said to me came to mind. She told me that she likes to edit in order to make the writing the very best it can possibly become. As I reviewed my now thrice-edited short story, I felt a surge of pride which would have been impossible with either Version One or Version Two. Yes, the editing cave is deep and long, but it makes things better. And isn’t that what we ought to be about, as writers?

Later on, I’ll be heading back into the editing cave again to give the same treatment to each of my original pieces, as well as those I add to the post nano collection. This time, I’ll understand more closely why I’m doing the task, Herculean though it may appear. Creating, at least for me, is full of gleeful inspiration, but making it the best it can possibly become is why I’m proud to have created it.

Short Update: Nano Finished!

This is just a quick update to let you know that I’ve not fallen off the face of the earth or anything drastic in that way. I spent the week completing my nanowrimo goal for my short story collection. I am pleased with how everything has turned out so far, but realize that I wish to add more to it before publication.

As much as I love nano, it is full of rules such as no previously written material can count toward the goal. I have a few pieces written before July 1 that I would love to include, so I’m working on that next.

Later in the week, I want to give you a sneak peek with one of the stories I wrote this week, all about being free and creative to carve your own path in life. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!

Until next time!

Have a great week!

I’m A Pen And Paper Sort Of Girl

This morning I decided to start my journey toward the July edition of Camp Nanowrimo. How did I begin this outlining trek, might you ask? With a word processor? Pages? Google Drive?

No, I pulled my beloved legal pad out from under my iPad and began to outline retro style. I do this because the feeling of the pen in my hand and the smoothness of the paper gliding underneath as I write, even laboriously as most outlining commences for me, gives me such an experience of interaction with my material. To write a character’s name or list their traits introduces me to them like an old friend. I am more intimately acquainted with them, their atmosphere and their outcome. We know one another well. It feels natural and right.

I am very thankful for all technology that advances us as writers. However, there is nothing like getting up close and personal with my work. I am the kind of writer who pokes along with her stylus, even speaking the words aloud absentmindedly as I go along. When writing dialogue, I give my characters unique spoken voices that hopefully translate to the page. I have sixteen days to plan about as many stories and I’m grateful that I have found my own perfect method to do it.