Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Romance of Editing and Book Two

A few years ago, I felt a bit meek about telling people what I liked to do since I felt sure that writing wasn't really a job for "grownups" and was the equivalent of telling people you're going to play in a garage band or your dreams of success hinge on the judges and voters of American Idol.

I'm not embarrassed about telling people anymore.  Mostly because I've come to respect being a writer a lot more than I used to.

Writing can be a casual escape for people, the kind of thing they do randomly when they have a blank notebook sitting in front of them or a great idea strikes.  For me, it's a little more serious than that.  When I see a blank notebook, I have to resist writing something in it.  I get four or five ideas for a book when I'm taking my walk or going for a jog in the morning.

Having a good idea and writing it down doesn't make you a writer but it is a start.  The rest is hard work, total dedication, and watching and learning every time your baby gets ripped apart.
Yes, that adorable little pink flower is my purse and the makeup bag
is what I use to organize my markers since I don't have a pencil bag :)

The last few weeks, it's been me doing the ripping.

The picture above is from one of the three days I spent at Starbucks.  Each day I dedicated a little over two hours to reading my book, intermittently between drinking my hot chocolate (with a shot of raspberry.  It would be so boring if you just got hot chocolate at Starbucks) and watching the passersby.  I live about two miles from an outdoor mall and discovered its a great place to work on my book.  None of the distractions from home and relatively empty when kids are in school.  The above picture is one of my more heavily edited pages but I do have a few with just a plain "x" marked across the page because the whole thing needs to go.  I had a lot of fun doing the marking, telling myself every time "I'm going to fix this so it'll be so much better" and trying not to think about the actual fixing process.  In the last few chapters, I came up with a great plot twist that I've written myself some notes about so when I get to editing it, I'll remember to incorporate it.

Things haven't been moving so quickly on my second book.  I've been busy with life and tying up the loose ends of my first and my second book has barely made it past 8,000 words.  With QoT, I did a lot of work plotting it out before I got more than two chapters into writing it but I haven't even started a plot with Darling, my second book.  I have several key points floating around in my head but I haven't yet found the thread that will tie them all together.  Even though the sequel is hinted at in QoT, it has a totally different cast of characters and a different world of problems.  Mostly, it's based off a different legend.  I have a lot more leeway with the legend/fairytale I'm using in Darling, mostly because it doesn't have any roots in reality.  Arthurian legends do and it's occasionally difficult to differentiate fact and fiction when researching for it.

I'll have more updates next time I blog.  I'm bursting to write about some stuff with Darling but if I do, it will spoil some of the surprises from QoT.  First world problems here!

-Anna Leigh

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