I’ve neglected my blog a bit recently as real life and edits took over but I’m hoping to have more time to post here now. Of course, the best laid plans of mice and men often go wrong, but we’ll see!
The whole writing process is so exciting and enjoyable for me, yet it’s also really hard work. There’s no denying it. The first draft of a novel is the fun bit, when the plot and characters have the potential to develop and no-one has yet passed judgement. It’s a time of happy innocence; the calm before the storm of doubt. However, the wip is then sent to an editor and the real fun begins.
Next, come the structural revisions — unless you’re a total smarty pants who gets it perfect first time and I don’t think I’ve ever spoken to an author who claims this. (However, if you’re out there, I’d love to hear how you do it!) Structural revisions are helpful pages of how to make your story better, how to develop your characters and how to ensure that you’ve covered all angles. They are not for the faint-hearted and often require treats…chocolate, wine, cakes, a long walk, a footrub can all ease the ‘pain’. But basically, whatever you feel when you first see those edits, you just have to grit your teeth and get on with them. It’s like climbing a mountain. You start at the bottom but you’re rarely able to climb in a straight line, so there might be some ups and downs and back and forth, but eventually, you’ll see the summit. It could be days before you get there, even weeks, and you might have to descend again before you finally make it, but make it you will.
When you think you’ve done as much as you can, you return the revised manuscript to your editor and wait. In this time, you’ll be anxious, restless, perhaps even a bit excited. If you’re lucky, you might only have some tightening up to do when you receive your reply; if not…more revisions!!!
Oh the fun of it.
I’ve been through this process with Wish Upon a Christmas Cake and with my second novel Something Old, Something New, which is due to be released on 16th May (all being well) and, in all honesty, tough as it has been, I’ve had a lot of fun. It’s a bit like childbirth because the pain is totally worth it! I had one child, and in spite of the pain, I went on to have another, and if time and money had been on my side, I’d have loved to have had more. When you hold your baby in your arms, the pain just fades away and it’s the same for me with writing. The hard work that goes into creating a novel and revising it, editing it then editing it some more, is 100% worth it. The finished story is always so much better for it and I know from speaking to other authors, that most agree.
So, every now and then, I’ll probably go missing in action. I won’t be far away but I might be a tad breathless as I climb that mountain. Think of me, and please, if you see me along the way, offer me cake and wine and I’ll soon be back on form.