As I write this, I’m 138 pages into my current editing pass through “The King’s Sons” (out of 226 in MS Word). I polished up my favorite scene ever this morning–well, my favorite scene I’ve written to date through five novels and various short stories–and I cannot stop.
I’ve got the editing bug. Generally, I prefer to write rather than edit, but I am really getting into this story after having set it aside for as many months as I did (3) to focus on my NaNoWriMo novel. While the effects of my euphoric drive are detrimental to other aspects of my life, such as job searching (though I put in three apps today and three yesterday), I am happy because it bodes well for the book’s future and the end of my trilogy.
After all, rule number one of writing, after “Write every day if you possibly can” and “Read read read!” is “Write for you, and love what you write.” If YOU of all people can’t get into the story you’re crafting (or have crafted), then how can expect other people to do so? That’s hypocritical, and it’s one reason I believe you can’t be successful writing something because you think it’s hot/popular or will sell. If you don’t experience some personal growth, or some exploration of yourself or the world through what you’re writing, you’re toast. At the very least, you have to enjoy the story on the basic level of finding it interesting enough to invest in.
You’ve gotta want to read what you write
I know what happens in my novel, of course, but I’m finding myself excited to keep going with it. I look ahead and see what the next scene is, and think, “Oh, FUN, that’ll be a blast to read again. I remember what that character does there… Tense moment!” Of course, that’s no guarantee the book will interest other people. That they’ll find it interesting the way I do. It’s no guarantee the book is well-written. But after a couple more beta readers go through it and after a few more editing passes, I believe it’ll be in shape to release late this year. I don’t have any clear idea HOW late…. But I’m thinking 2013 sometime. I’m being careful not to rush things, because I absolutely refuse to be one of those writers who publishes early drafts of things that clearly need tons more work before they’re ready for the public at large. I have too much pride in my work, too much respect for my characters, and I’m too much of a perfectionist.
I guess I am so used to dealing with late, late drafts of the novels I’ve published that I reached the point where I got really sick of them. That happens to us all. So it’s fun to find myself at the relatively early stages of editing again, before the work becomes a pain and I still can be genuinely excited about it. After all, that’s the LEAST that’s needed for any work an author wants to send out to the wide, wide world. You have to be excited about what you’ve written.