My favorite part of writing is starting a new story. I love the inspiration that flows and allows me to sit at my keyboard, creating people and situations and ultimately, the happily ever after we all crave.
My second favorite part is typing “The End.” It means I’ve completed the project, seen my original vision through to the end, even if it’s very different from what I first imagined.
But then the difficult part starts—the editing. I usually leave a manuscript to sit for a few weeks so that I can tackle it with fresh eyes. And those eyes often weep when they see what first passed as “writing.” As I’m rereading and editing what I’ve written, I’m convinced that everything is horrible and it will never make an even halfway decent story. I question everything I ever thought, including why I wanted to be a writer in the first place.
If I’m lucky, though, the edits I make start to sharpen the story, further developing the characters and plot and somehow, make the good parts shine. And I can start to see that not everything about the story is awful. Ultimately, with a lot of hard editing work, things will improve.
That’s where I am with my current WIP. I wrote the entire book in February. I’m just getting to the editing now—life has been a little busy. And in my first pass, I was heartbroken, because as much as I want to like this story, it was pretty awful. But little by little, as I’m editing and being ruthless with what works and doesn’t, I’m sorting through it and focusing on the good parts. And there are good parts, which, with a lot of work, will make this into a terrific story, I hope.
The bones are there. The potential exists. Now I just have to put in the work!