Thursday, February 18, 2010

On To The Edit...

This is the part I hate. Why can't a book just be perfect and grammatically sound in the first draft? Why, oh why must I edit?! I reread the prologue on Tuesday night, did my edit, called it done and then planned to work on Chapter One on Wednesday night. But Shaun White was competing on the halfpipe last night and Lindsey Vonn was doing her downhill run and so obviously I couldn't edit. (I'm full of excuses.) It just wasn't meant to happen last night.

When I edited "Summer At Nineteen" I spread it out over a year. I didn't have any reason to rush through it so I just took my time and let procrastination get the best of me. What was so interesting then was that I had begun writing the story four years earlier and so I would read through entire pages and not remember having written any of it. That's a trippy experience, let me tell you. This time around I have been more diligent. I finished the first draft in a year (which makes me want to punch myself for taking twice as long as was really necessary) and am now moving on to the edit. And I remember writing every single word. It's still fresh in my mind (which may or may not be a good thing) from when I started last winter.

My sister's on vacation this week and so I shoved the manuscript upon her and said I wanted her thoughts. I still think of her as a high schooler even though she's twenty-one, so I wanted her perspective. She of course would never refuse me and so is currently reading the manuscript even though it's as far from her typical genre as it can get. She loves vampires, werewolves, generally any mythical beast, assasins, horror, dark stuff... you get the picture. Meanwhile, I like real life entanglements where all the characters could possibly walk past me on the sidewalk. Her comment last night via my father was, "This is depressing." Thanks Marissa. I hope she has more to say when I see her on Saturday, because those three words do nothing for my revision process.

Maybe it is depressing. The topic sure isn't fluff. I like creating a character and putting him/her into awkward and uncomfortable situations and seeing how they react. And awkward is definitely the word of choice for this as-yet-untitled book. Picture high school at its finest. High school was by no means enjoyable for me, but through Lucy Hartley I was able to relive high school and actually enjoy it, even with all the drama. I think that's why I held onto the first draft for so long, I just didn't want it all to end. But now I get to live through it all again in the editing process so I guess I can't be too sad.

I'm not going to set a deadline for this edit because there's no way I will stick to it. I will give a valiant effort in getting through it by the end of March (because really it shouldn't take that long), but I'm not making any promises. I will try my best though. And then it will be on to query letters, which I loathe from my first experience in trying to wrangle a Literary Agent. I really was naive when I thought that at eighteen that writing the book would be the hard part. Please. That's a total piece of cake compared to getting a book deal.
Anywho, wish me luck and godspeed on the edit. Comments might help push this process along so feel free to comment away.
xoxo
~Stephanie
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