Editing my YA fantasy novel has been like climbing a cloud-shrouded mountain–I get to what seems the summit, admire the view, and suddenly I get a glimpse of a better view. New possibilities appear and I’m find I’m not at the summit at all. So I climb a little higher, see the vista, and again I see a view that wasn’t there before. So I keep climbing and climbing. Logically, I should reach a point where more editing does more harm than good, but every time I think I’m at that point, I see something more is needed after just a couple days. My family has heard me proclaim this puppy finished more times than I want to think about.

Sometimes the “improvements” are just cosmetic–typos, awkward phrases, etc. Some are dramatic, like changing the POV from 3rd person, past tense to 1st person, present tense. After that last massive change, I honestly can’t imagine taking this to another level, but if I wait a couple days, I know that view may change. There may turn out to be more mountain to go. Luckily, I know it won’t be long before the clouds part and I know the answer.

Part of this frustrating phenomena is that I am not so much looking for how the story reads, but how it feels. I change the words, but it’s the emotional feeling from those words that is my goal, the emotional experience of the story that is more than plot. It’s not so much that I want to read a book, but that I want to experience it, and I expect that from my own writing, too.

So, here I am, once more checking out the view and wondering if I’m there yet.



Filed under Writing

2 responses to “Mountain-Climbing

  1. I’ve always written in the 3rd person, but recently I’ve found that I am able to show a stronger story through the 1st person.

    This has meant that I’ve been going back over some of my older short story pieces to see if they can be reworked into a 1st person story. Its been a very (very!) slow process.

    What are your plans once you complete your novel? Are you going to self-publish or shop around the manuscript?

    • Thanks for commenting! I initially picked 3rd person because it gave me several angles on the story, but I felt the MC was too remote, even in an intimate 3rd person. Surprisingly, it didn’t take as long as I expected to shift just the MC over to 1st person/present tense. Now I just have to weed out all the new typos and missed verb tense changes….

      Technically, I’ve completed the novel, but I haven’t reached the point where I can read through it without seeing something I missed that I don’t like. Once I get to that mythical place, I’ve got several agents on my short list to send it to.

      I thought about self-publishing, but would rather not go that route. I’ve got enough on my plate just writing and working a full-time day job. Successful self-publishing (ebook) likely would mean not having time to keep writing more novels, and since this is the first in a series, I’m anxious to get the next one on the front burner. I’d much rather be an author than a publisher,

      If I can’t get my novels out any other way, then I’ll probably publish through Smashwords.

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