I usually update every few days when I’ve got a work in progress with thoughts and considerations, but this month has been uncommonly full, and this last week in particular … well, let’s just move on, shall we? Yet because I’m a glutton for discipline, I continued doing all the things I had to do, no matter what was required for me to do them, which meant that I tried really hard to edit one chapter a day. But I didn’t just edit one chapter a day once. Oh, no, I decided to edit one chapter twice each day, which took more than my usual time, as you might imagine.
It all levels out in the end. I just wanted to make sure I finished Cry Wolf before the end of August, since I’ll be starting another novel on September 7 or 8. In spite of all the obstacles and personal issues, I started on August 13 and finished August 29 (in the midst of a panic attack, so go me). I had about three days when I couldn’t devote time to the edits. The rest of the time, I buckled down and did my duty, cutting Cry Wolf down from an unmanageable 120k to a far more respectable 106k, and I expect that might get pared down more with an editor’s help.
That was part of the reason why I did a second edit on the chapters right after I finished the first – it was something I learned from editing a previous work. If I read something of mine too close to the last time I read it, I really want nothing to do with it, so I’m more likely to be brutal and efficient with my cuts, just to get it over with. It makes it clear to me what is absolutely necessary and not just something I like. I’ll only bothering arguing with myself when it’s worth the time lingering on something I don’t want to linger on for what seems like the millionth time.
It’s unpleasant, but I also get to see whether my previous edits flow well and find any errors I made during the editing process. Unpleasant though it may be, it’s effective, so I think I’ll continue driving myself mad with it. But as you can imagine, I didn’t want to spend 30 minutes on a blog post update when I could spend 30 minutes on edits I wanted over with. On the other hand, I often dropped into my Facebook page to spend 3 seconds commenting on funny mistakes (for instance: there is a difference between a “thick head of dark hair” and a “head of thick, dark hair”), word cut update, and thoughts on the process. Shameless plug, but I do get chatty during WIPs.
All in all, while I felt a little lost writing Cry Wolf, I’ve determine my dialogue makes a whole lot more sense when it’s read than when it’s written. :) When it’s written, I’m trying to figure out where the conversation is going and it feels random and meandering, whereas it seems much more intentional when it’s finished. Also, Kelly is truly a pleasure to work with as a main character. Renee is a neurotic pleasure, but Kelly has freedom that Renee hasn’t discovered yet, not to mention power. And it’s an outright delight to write someone with this kind of power, which was part of the reason why I wrote Forces of Nature.
In Cry Wolf, I didn’t have to worry so much about how breakable a human being is in comparison to a werewolf. Inhibitions, limitations, restraint – there’s a little of that in the story, but not when it comes to sex, which makes for some amazing (and personally liberating) sex scenes. Not to mention Kelly’s often the dominant partner when she’s having sex, even when she’s bottoming and being masochistic. It’s uncommon in the present erotic climate, and it makes me wish there were more.
I also got to annoy the crap out of me with some of my repetitious writer mistakes, such as using “and” to connect sentences with Great Significance. It flows better when I’m writing than when I’m reading. When I’m reading, I just want to pull my hair out at the excess of “ands.” Also, there’s a tendency during NaNoWriMo to meander while you’re trying to figure out what you want to say. While that’s sometimes useful by giving me information I didn’t know I needed, it also gives me a ton of information that I didn’t need, so I think I’ll be more deliberate with my next novel. After all, Forces of Nature needed minimal edits because I wrote what I wanted to write the first time (with the exception of the additions, but that’s not the kind of edits I’m talking about).
That’s my goal with my writing and editing. When I’m writing, I try to limit how much I’ll have to edit later. And when I’m editing, I try to limit how much my editor will have to edit later. Just trying to cut down on the amount of work all the way down the chain. :)
Still to do: query and synopsis. I had Forces of Nature‘s query mapped out almost before I wrote it, but then, it was a very simple plot. Cry Wolf is slightly more complicated, as evidenced by being twice as long. Querying and synopsis writing should be interesting. And by interesting, I mean I might need a drink.