I have pushed myself hard to get back to editing my manuscript. I would love to say I am making tons of progress and it is coming along smashingly.
Okay, I could tell you that, but I’d be lying.
I came to the conclusion that “perfect” or even “really good” isn’t everything. Sometimes, words on the page, reasonably not sucking, is good enough.
I came to this conclusion when I got unexpected feedback on the first five chapters I’d sent out some time ago. It got me thinking and renewed my interest in the characters. It made me see them through someone else’s eyes and realize that the story, for all of its early draft flaws, was still reasonably not sucking.
So, I worked on a bit more polishing and sent out a few more chapters. More feedback came back . . . And I worked some more.
Apparently, what I need is feedback. The whole writing in a sealed off safe room has its benefits, but it also has its drawbacks.
I feel like my writing is “cruising” along an old switchback dirt road. Not always sure if I’m coming or going. Never fast. And always worried about that rut on the side of the road that will stop my writing altogether. Getting a bit of feedback helps keep me focused on the road rather than the potholes. Okay, metaphor exhausted.
So, yes, I have taken up editing again. I have worked through a lot of really awful writing on my part (really, did I write that?!?) And some pretty horrendous storytelling. (I let a character do what?!?) But it was a first draft, and I think the first rewrite is the hardest. Especially if you’ve had a break from your manuscript.
I remember my own advice about remembering to keep writing something new to keep the creative fires burning. So, I also attempted a flash fiction challenge last weekend, but only got to about 200 words of the 1,000 word challenge. Perhaps I will try again.
New ideas are also percolating for a new novel, and I solved some big underlying issues to make a character I developed for a SciFi setting work in a fantasy world. I loved her and wanted to give her a story of her own. Amazing how characters drive you to find solutions.
If you listen.