My lesson of the week is that big editing changes can sometimes be solved by only changing a few lines. I was reminded of it when I read this post from Jami Gold about the same thing. You can change the entire impression a reader has of a scene just by switching out a handful of sentences. One of the issues I have that always comes up in edits is character motivations/reactions. I'm a plot-driven writer, so sometimes I forget to add in the internalisation which makes it clear to the reader why a character is acting/reacting in that way. It's a simple change, sometimes only adding a couple of sentences to a scene, but can make a huge difference to whether a reader connects with your character or not. I like writing characters with strong convictions who aren't conventionally likeable, but the reader hopefully still gets why they act the way they do. That's the goal, anyway!
It's also the first Wednesday of the month, so it's time for IWSG! The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the creation of Ninja Captain Alex, and is a great way for writers to share their worries, support and encouragement.
I have another book coming out in two days! So naturally, I'm on that old rollercoaster of excitement and sudden inconvenient confidence drops. I'm also in the editing cave with an old manuscript, so I'm currently convinced I'm a fraud and want to apologise to my beta readers and editors for inflicting my crappy drafts on them. The life of a writer. :')
Spoiler: intense edits and promoting a new release do not go well together. I really ought to know this by now...
So naturally, instead of editing, I'm writing such blog posts as this: 10 signs you're a writing/publishing veteran:
- You expect the worst and are pleasantly surprised when anything goes right.
- You get suspicious when you manage to complete edits on your twentieth book in less than a week, because you're convinced you missed something.
- You get doubly suspicious when it takes months to edit a different book, because you're convinced your brain is broken.
- You have a mental list of sarcastic responses to the inevitable questions you face at family gatherings, social events, and from the optician/doctor/hairdresser/dentist - "How are your books selling?" "Are they in bookshops?" "Are you planning to write a real book soon?" "How do you write so fast?"...
- You hope no one ever finds your computer and goes through your files and bookmarked pages, because you have several years' worth of dubious research material saved there.
- You no longer flip out when a much-better-known author favourites one of your tweets. (Well... okay. Maybe a little.)
- A 2-star review kills your book's rating on release day, and you just laugh at it.
- You spend time writing posts like this instead of editing, because you have procrastination down to a fine art.
- Whenever you get a ten-page edit letter detailing everything wrong with your book, or a long, scathing review, you despair over your writing career for exactly ten seconds before remembering the two years' worth of nice reviews and feedback and readers waiting for your next release. That many people can't be wrong, right? ... Right?
- You wonder when you'll ever stop feeling like a fraud. But occasionally, you remember you kept every old journal since you were ten, and in every single one, in answer to the question "What will your job be in ten years' time?", you put "writer."
So hey, you're doing the job you've always dreamed of. You're writing books, publishing them, and getting paid for it. And that's pretty awesome. :D