Radical Revision

Right now, I'm in the grand expanse of writerdoom known as editing. I wish I could say this meant Da Book will be ready within the next month, but it seems the more I edit, the more areas in need of revision surface. People ask, when will you be done? What a great question. If I only I knew the answer. 

Sure, I have goals. And sure, I have grand intentions of upping my work hours to see where, exactly, the line between sanity and insanity exists. But I've said it before, and I'll say it again: the process of creating is one of mystery, and though some writers may be able to correctly prophesy a done date, I'm still wrapped up in the thick shawl of Idunno. Hopefully soon.

So what does editing mean at this stage? Most people think of editing as adding a comma here, checking for misspelled words there, etc.. Ah yes, the joys of line edits! That simple, straight-forward part in the process when the light at the end of the tunnel shines brightest. 

The editing I'm in at the moment, though, is what I call radical revision in my workshops. It's when even characters names are up for debate. It's a dynamic, earthquaking part of writing that I love. Truly. This is where that famous line from William Faulkner seems most relevant: kill your darlings. This may include deleting a cute little sentence, or it may mean literally killing a beloved character. 

That's the wonder and joy of novel writing, I'm discovering again and again. Since my book is part I in a trilogy, the killing and creating happens on a large scale, where seemingly insignificant characters become game changers, and large characters meet their death sooner than I anticipated. 

If you're interested in writing but aren't sure where to start or where you're going: fear thee not! It can be a rich and dynamic thing, this unknowing. Each day at my desk, I feel like a voyager. Diana becomes Galen becomes Freda. A new place of signficance grows up from the map as if it were made of soil and ideas were seeds left unseen until suddenly they sprout. It's an organic thing, writing, and though I wish I could say, "It shall be done February 1st," I know organic things thrive best without containers.