Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Editing with Saga
For years, I hated editing. I heard the faint laughter of Saga, the Norse goddess associated with writing, while I painstakingly worried about every word not having a clue what I was doing. After a long time searching for tools to make the process easier, I finally found them. I still drag myself to the chair, but my focus stays strong with Saga nudging me in hopefully the right areas to make my stories clearer and more entertaining.
This past month, I attacked my first novel written with gusto. I spent 45 hours developing chapters 1 though 11. At times, I actually enjoyed the process and happily watched the pages go walking by (note not flying by but not trudging either) in a finished state of being. Last week, I started chapter 12. Now, I knew this chapter would be a challenge. When my husband read it a couple of years ago, he stopped at this point. He never finished the book. His comments where something like, “the beginning is a great story but then you got to this part and started rushing.” Yesterday I called him and said he could tell me he told me so. I think I have about 10 scenes crowded into about 22 pages. The first three I rewrote and organized. Yesterday it took me over an hour to fix 1.5 pages. I took my main character and the rest of the dog sledding teams about 40 miles with some swishing sounds and a dashing rabbit and grazing deer. Horrible. I hadn’t even described the clothing they wore.
I am happy to say now Corrion is bundled up in the bear fur her dear friend Guri gave her with wool socks on her feet. Yes, she is wearing a hat and mittensJ However, along the journey when she takes a corner too tightly, a tree branch clipped the top of her head spilling snow down the front of her shirt. She then has to drive the rest of the way into the city with a frozen shirt and chattering teeth. Now the scene is a solid 3 pages. Today I get to rewrite the 1.5 page city scene after she changes out of the wet clothes of course.
Editing still isn’t my favorite task, but I am doing better with it as each day goes by. Of course, I still hear a chuckle from time to time from Saga. In fact, she has been laughing wholeheartedly at me while I write today. Yet, I smile at her. I am still working. I haven’t given up. I will finish this novel. My goal had been to finish it last month and start editing book 2 this month. I am behind, but I will prevail.