Monday, October 26, 2015

Editing and Warm and Fuzzies

First things first: Let me start with a quick flash of admin. In case you missed it, I'm still looking for critique partners to help me edit my Historical Romance, so if you think you might be interested, please head over and check it out. (I do return the favor if you help me.) 

Secondly: The Vanished Knight is being featured on Andrea Washington's blog. She's a bit new to the community, so I'd love if you said hi. 

Okay? Okay. Now let's get into today's post.

(How's that for a smooth segue, eh?)

After putting out a call for critique partners for that romance, I decided to open it up one more time before it went out for a critique. The last time I had time to do so was in April.

I'm actually glad I waited so long, because I have a rather interesting relationship with ES1. See... this is the first book I ever tried to write when I seriously became a novelist. Then stuff happened and I moved on to greener pastures. The book stuck with me, though. Again because of a character walking into my head while I was reading. (It happens to me a lot. The Vanished Knight started in much the same way.)

I kept coming back to it, though. Even working on it on weekends while working on the beast that would become The Vanished Knight and The Heir's Choice. (Yes, it was once one book.) In other words, ES1 became the second book I ever finished. Then I rewrote it and lost the entire rewrite the day after I finished it.

I know. It was horrible. The loss, I mean. The book was (I think) good. Hard to tell. See that draft is a lot like a dead person to me. You know how dead people suddenly become saintly and perfect after they died? Yeah... like that. There's this part of my mind that keeps clinging to the idea that that draft was simply marvelous. Even when I never even edited it. Seriously, it was the worst time to lose a draft. Right after the high from finishing it.

Needless to say, I didn't have the heart to start again, so I put the story on the back-burner and worked on three more books. It took me a year, and when I came back to the rough draft, I realized that it was a mess.

Which meant one thing. Redraft. I went through the book and basically split it in two. Don't worry, these stories won't end in a cliffhanger. It's just that I had a huge cast of characters. I split it in two, which allows me to tell two previously competing plot arcs as stories in their own right. (I still need to write the second one. It's on my to-do list.)

This time, I loved the story as I wrote it. I loved my rewrite even more. After the pain and slogging that goes with writing the War of Six Crowns series (no seriously. I take four times as long to rewrite any of the books), ES1 was a joy.

So when I read it two months after the rewrite, I still had the warm and fuzzies.

Six months later... Not so much. Okay, okay I'll admit that it still makes me go "AWEEEE!" every now and then. It's just that now that I've been able to look at it without my other writing experiences coloring my vision, I'm noticing things.

Things like: I deviated far from the genre norms in certain places. (Which is fine. I do it all the time. Just wondering how it's going to go over with the readers.) Or... I noticed I glossed over a lot of scenes. Which now makes me wonder if I'm being overly critical (glossing over boring things is a good thing), or if I really didn't put enough attention into some aspects of the story.

I'm mulling this over for now, and will continue to do so while the manuscript is with my critique partners.

Do you also suffer from warm and fuzzies after finishing a draft? How long do you have to wait to make them go away?




20 comments:

M.J. Fifield said...

After I finish a draft, I usually have a feeling of euphoria that makes me want to do a happy dance. It lasts maybe an hour, maybe two, and doesn't include any actual physical happy dancing.

Christine Rains said...

When I go back to drafts close to the time I finished them, I do fall victim to the warm fuzzies. Yet as more time is put between me and them, I get terribly critical. Even when I go back and read books I've published, I always want to change things.

Bish Denham said...

I always love my first drafts. I tend to think their finished. This is my problem because I know they aren't, I know the real work is in the revising and editing which is the part I struggle with the most.

Launna said...

I have never written a book but I can imagine how it would make you feel... I remember my mom wrote a book and unfortunately it was destroyed in a flood before we could make copies... all the info was gone, I would have loved to read it xox

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sorry you lost the revisions! That sucks.
I never get to warm and fuzzy, but I become more pleased with something as I go through the process of writing and revising.

carolina g. ticala said...

Great post!!!kiss

dolorah said...

I suffer more a sigh of relief after finishing a draft. It takes me forever to write something, and then longer to edit. I've lost books on my computer before - what a pain to rewrite!

Murees Dupé said...

I feel a sense of relief when I finish the first draft. But in the back of my mind I always know more work needs to be done:) Good-luck with your project.

Janie Junebug said...

I don't do critique partners, but I'm an editor. I'm here if you need me. My prices seem to be more reasonable than those of most editors, and I'm an all-purpose editor. I do whatever needs to be done. I suggest. I never demand. The author is the authority on his work. Sometimes I request a small down payment on a big editing job, but I usually provide an estimate and ask for the money when I'm finished. Too many authors get burned by editors who take the money and run.

Love,
Janie

Lisa said...

I don't know if I'd say warm and fuzzy, but perhaps a sense of accomplishment? A sense of farewell in a way. I live with the characters for so long, it's a jolt to let them go. And I don't, until the book is in front of its readers... I use beta readers before I send it to my editor... thanks for commenting on my blog! Good luck and keep going!

Jemi Fraser said...

Putting a draft away for a while is vital for me. I usually do a new draft or a rewrite of another story before heading back to look at it. It's nice when you still find lots to love :)

Patsy said...

I have to write something else before I can look back at a draft at all objectively.

Pat Hatt said...

Ugg, hate losing work. Back it up now as soon as I'm done. I just get a relaxing feeling as it is done, then off to editing I go.

Hana Banana said...

This is why I don't edit!

I want to hold onto the 'warm and fuzzy', post-draft feelings. When I start that first read-through I'm always like, "was I high at any point while drafting this?" Basically waaaay opposite of the 'warm and fuzzy' emotion.

I can't speak for you entirely, Misha, but honestly I do think I'm a little hard on myself. That's what great about having other people in the world! When your eyes cross over and you're pretty sure you should find a new career, you can pass that baby off to someone you trust. :)

Go with your gut instinct! And don't beat yourself over the head with all the details you could've, should've, didn't do.

As for the CP search on that historical romance, I would LOVE to help. My schedule is off right now, but if you still need a pair of eyes to check it out come mid-Dec, holler at me.

Weird Workaholic said...

Sorry about the lost draft, though at least you ended up with a rewrite that you liked. Sometimes I do get that warm and fuzzy feeling for a draft, to the point that I work on it a little at a time so that I can keep working on it longer. Now I understand why some authors write series, so that they don't have to let go of the story right away.

J.H. Moncrieff said...

I always take a break between finishing a draft and rewriting so I'll see the manuscript with fresh eyes. Usually the break ends up being way longer than intended.

Andrea said...

I need to draft a draft!

Medeia Sharif said...

I've rewritten drawer manuscripts. It feels amazing to finish a draft and I always give it a rest before I touch it again.

Misha Gericke said...

Good to see I'm not the only one. Thanks to everyone who stopped by! :-)

Janet Johnson said...

I totally get the warm and fuzzies! In some cases, it's taken years to see the truth. Guess I get too start struck. :)

Good luck with your revisions!