When I found my way back to my novel Tears from the Sea (TFTS), I was under the impression it would be a ‘quick’ edit and then, I’d embark on the joyous process of trying to get it published. As previously blogged, as soon as I cracked my manuscript open, I discovered that my choice of writing in the present tense now drove me up the wall crazy and right back down again batty.
I have since made the decision that a tense flip was in order. Soooo back again I went under the impression that the ‘quick’ edit was now a ‘somewhat quick edit.’ It turns out I was mistaken yet again. I wish I could say this discovery occurred when I was up to my elbows in converting verbs, but it wasn’t. It was the opening line of my novel that revealed more was amiss than I thought. That’s right, the VERY first sentence; the sentence that sets the tone was written in “tell me’ rather than ‘show me’ mode.
I’m not opposed to the odd ‘tell me,’ because I believe it can have its place but if I am going to break one of the writer 101 rules perhaps, the first sentence of my prologue is not best place to do so. I have since rectified. What previously read:
The last moment of joy I felt,was when I paused to admire the sky that evening. It showed itself in shades of violet and rose and seeped into the clouds turning their feathery white edges smoky lavender.
The last moment of joy that pulsed through my body was when I paused to admire the sky that evening. It showed itself in shades of violet and rose and seeped into the clouds turning their feathery white edges smoky lavender.
Much better right?! And a little more from that opening paragraph…
I wished my husband, my love, was here to share this beauty with me. It was then, I heard their laughter—the tangled amusement of two lovers drenched in the afterglow of their lovemaking, sharing a joke that belonged to them and that moment. I would have smiled and quietly left unnoticed—but I knew those voices.
Yay me!…I’m 'officially' working the past tense ;)
And, feeling a little smug…I got this! I soldiered on with the notion it should be smooth editing from here on it. Right?! Ahhhhh, let’s just say…I am no longer under the illusion that this ‘quick’ editing project is 'little.' But, I am proud to say I’m not looking at this as a major set-back. I’m looking at ‘a tweak here and there’ as an opportunity to produce a better product.
Fortunately, for my progress I arrived at this conclusion after I had determined that I was not in a bad mood and this was why I was displeased with more sections of my work than not. (I find my mood can impact editing and therefore, it is best to proceed with caution or even better wait until I’m in a more neutral head space). I’d also considered…what if these hiccups were a form of procrastination? Because for me, it’s easier to be stuck in editing mode rather than move the work forward trying to secure a publisher. I really dislike schlepping my manuscript. Trying to get published is a WHOLE other ball game which I’ll tackle in a separate blog post.
Since my return to TFTS, I can say the time my manuscript has sat percolating (10+ years yikes and crazy how quickly time passes) has been a gift. Because I’m now exploring TFTS with a fresh lens—a more experienced lens that is open and, has the patience to nurture this novel in the way it deserves to be fed; as opposed to rushing through the edits and submitting an inferior work because it’s easier. I AM IN IT—albeit only 10 pages in my ‘quick’ little edit—but that’s how we writers roll one word at a time.
I'd really like to know...is there such a thing as a quick edit?
Looks like I am going to be at my desk for awhile...need more coffee!
Activist, World traveller. Fan of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.