The Writing Moment

Into the fourth revision I go. The novel flows more smoothly and the story so far feels complete and true. That’s a big reach when only fifteen percent has been done in this round but I hold onto any sign of progress and completion that’s found.

Meanwhile, I’ve started writing another novel, of course, because stories stir restlessly in the mind’s wings, eager to for their moment to be explored and told.

The Writing Moment

I finished the third round of revision and editing for The Light of Memories. Don’t think the title is ever mentioned in the book BTW. When I read the last chapter, a short but sturdy creature, I cried. Not sure if the crying was for the character, ending, or being done with the process again. There I was at the coffee shop, a few years short of seventy, looking at my laptop and struggling against tears. Fortunately, I don’t think anyone noticed because I’m a man a few years short of seventy at a coffee shop.

I saved the doc and closed it, and then resumed writing another novel. I don’t know if time waits for anyone but I do know that when the muses say jump, I jump and then ask, “How high?”

The Writing Moment

Twenty-five percent through editing the third draft of “The Light of Memories”. It’s fun, and I think that’s because it can now be read mostly as a book and less than a work in progress. Small changes are the norm until — clunk, a section or chapter is encountered that needs such work that orange cones are deployed. I generally stop for the day when hitting those — there have been three — to think about what is wrong and how I might change it. I also continue refining the ending. Won’t know how well it fits now until I read through to it. Of course, the changes mean that there will be another editing and revision go-around before it’s turned over to the copy-editor.

Meanwhile, since I announced a new writing project will begin (yeah, it’s actually well underway at this point), several people have asked when the third book of the Life Lessons series with Studs will come out. I think I owe it to write number three.

I wanted to clarify my thinking about drafts. My first rough draft is labeled #1, but that’s a little misleading. My writing is an unplanned, iterative process. (There is a sort of map in my head, but heads can be so unreliable about this stuff.) So I don’t call those first efforts drafts, but iterations. Six iterations were pursued before the first rough draft was completed. It’s formally called a draft when a complete story — beginning, middle, and end — exists and can be read from one end to the other. With iterations, I often go down stubs to explore characters, concept, story, events, and settings. Some of these stubs don’t pan out. When that happens, a new iteration is initiated. Some stubs make it into the first draft but not infrequently are excised during the first editing and revision phase.

There’s always so much to read, write, edit, and do. Fortunately, it’s the life I’ve chosen.

The Writing Moment

Excited. Worried. Exhausted. Determined.

He sits and begins — again — editing the final twenty-five pages of the second draft of the novel in progress. The first draft had multiple iterations. This draft has undergone changes and now ‘feels’ better, but he believes another go through, maybe two, will be required.

He has his coffee and is ready to begin again.

The Writing Moment

The editing continues. He enjoys a pause to celebrate. It’s been almost three months of editing. He’s reached page 500. One hundred remain. Pure blurt, the youngest addition, he expects the final 100 to be the toughest.

Once that’s done, he’ll begin again. At least two more scrubs are needed. Probably more.

The Writing Moment

He felt like a raiding barbarian as slashed his way through the manuscript. He’d overwritten so much in that first draft, trying to learn the story in all its elements, especially the characters. Now he cut, cut, cut.

Next draft, he would probably need to work on continuity and coherency after all this slashing. But that was for the next draft. He was committed to finishing this one.

The Writing Moment

He worked on a chapter, again, then again. Boredom sank its teeth in him. He found himself chasing clickbait on the net.

A muse slapped him. “Hey. It doesn’t work. It’s not needed. Delete the chapter, fool.”

Well, there it was. He did so, but saved it as a doc. Just in case.

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