Writing is something that is enjoyable. Being able to sit and interact with the characters of a story, to follow along as they lead you into situations and resolutions you hadn’t expected, is something that never grows old. Just like Tolkien, I love to subcreate. I love to tell stories and to know that my audience, whether that audience is one or a thousand, has enjoyed hearing that tale. When the mood is right, there is nothing better than to sit and get lost while writing a story for hours.
Unfortunately there is another aspect of writing, the other side of the writing process that is the red-headed stepchild. I don’t know if there are many writers that get as enthusiastic about sitting down to edit their work as they get when writing something fresh and new. And I understand completely – when you are editing you are only modifying a story that you’ve already told. Editing can be as boring as just changing some spelling and grammar issues. Other times it can involve a complete reshaping of a story to the point where it is almost brand new.
I’m caught in the midst of an editing storm. I spent the past two weeks editing through my first novel and the end result was a much better, and longer, product. Looking back at my first draft in 2013 I can see just from the word count that it has nearly doubled in size while maintaining many of the same key plot elements. And the odds are good that, if I find an agent, I will be editing it at least once more before it gets published (although I hope that requires a lot less work!).
I finished that task yesterday only to be rewarded with the pre-print proofs of the anthology. So now I will spend this week looking for those minor spelling and grammar issues to be fixed in my story and get that back into the hands of the publisher. That is an unexciting, but essential, round of edits.
And then I got back an unusual rejection around a week ago. I had submitted a long narrative poem (titled “Taking Down Goliath”) to a publication and they rejected it but said if I would like to rework it that I would be welcome to resubmit it again. That is the best kind of rejection as it means there is great hope for an edited edition to get that acceptance. So before diving into a new Monster Huntress story or book I will probably return to that poem from a few years ago and edit it with a fresh set of eyes.
The other side of writing isn’t always as fun or as exciting as writing, but it is very important for turning those rejections (or potential rejections) into published works.