I know you haven’t heard from me all that much lately. It’s because I’m back in the rewrite process. The last round was pretty significant. This round is more about tweaking. A little more here, a little less there, some technical things, a few reworded sentences. But it’s still hard to dive back in.
I think the editing process requires a lot more attention than the writing process. For me, writing is something that happens in conjunction with everything else I do – I’m driving to the grocery store and I think about my main character – I’m doing yard work and suddenly I know the back story of one of my secondary characters. Writing is a freeing process that’s about getting my ideas down. Editing is about getting my ass in the chair. It’s about drowning out everything else that’s calling to me (and trust me, even laundry can start to look appealing when the daunting task of rewrites is at hand) and just sitting there and putting myself in my book and problem solving.
I enjoy the process, but it feels heavier. It requires me to keep 90,000 plus words in my head. Can I describe his eyes that way, or did I use those words to describe them already back on page 136? If I condense these two chapters into one, how do I get my main character from point A to point B? It’s a lot different from that unplanned road trip, throw some snacks in the car, make sure you have money for tolls, see where you end up, kind of feeling that goes along with writing a first draft.
If I can get in a good 3-4 hours of rewrite work in a day, I’m thrilled (and mentally exhausted). And then all I want to do is read or watch TV – (currently ANYBODY OUT THERE and CALIFORNICATION – both are excellent).
And as much as a part of me wishes I could just fast-forward to it all being done, another part of me is clinging to every second I can get with Van (my main character). Because, the work will get done, and then Van and I are going to go our separate ways for awhile. If you’re not a writer, this is going to sound crazy, but I’m going to miss Van so much that the idea of it makes me a little weepy. She may just be a figment of my imagination, but she’s still one of my favorite people.