Editing? Oh, hell no…it’s not editing I’m doing. I’m basically rewriting the last seventy-five pages of the second book. It’s the only way to make the whole thing work. When I said I got a break-through, it was just that. Unfortunately, that break-through involved a major rewrite.
Oh, well. It is something that needed to be done and I’m finding I like the characters again. It’s almost like writing a whole other book. As a friend pointed out, I like to write. (I’d better, it’s my chosen craft.) I did point out to this friend that while I like to write, I really hate editing. Editing, though, comes with the territory of being a writer.
Other things that come with being a writer, I’ve found, are my friends at dog shows asking when the next book is coming out. Ummm…when I get the edits back to my editor and then I get to wait to find out if I’m going to be offered a second contract. And, then, it’ll be about a year. I’m also asked where I get the ideas for my books. That’s always a fun one to try to explain as I can get ideas from just about anywhere…like the time a few weeks ago on Facebook when someone posted one of those funny pictures about walking through the woods being relaxing while “the fact that I’m dragging a body through the woods should be irrelevant,” and one of my friends said, “What a great beginning to a story.” Well, thanks…with that comment, the Muse took off on me and started plotting yet ANOTHER novel.
It is an enjoyable experience though to tell people that if someone makes me really angry, that person could end up in my next book. Writer’s revenge…
Another thing that comes with the territory are the questions of how rich the current book is going to make me. When I’m done laughing and have picked myself up off the floor, I tell people that I won’t be buying that ranch in Wyoming any time soon, much to my disappointment.
Finding the right music to listen to while writing is something else that comes with the territory of being a writer (or at least it is for me). When I was working on novel I started in November, I found I was listening to a lot of period music (from the American Civil War) and also listening to the whole album of the musical The Civil War. Yes, there were a few that I skipped every time I listened to the album and two that I would put on repeat and listen to over and over and over. I find that the right music helps me to write because it gives the ability to step out of my own skin and into that of my main characters.
As I tell my students, writing is a lot more than just sitting down at the keyboard. I seriously doubt anyone sits at the keyboard as we were taught to in school, both feet on the floor, straight in the chair. That’s another “Oh, hell no!” For me, I have to have my can of diet coke on the desktop, some kind of snack (lately it’s been carrot sticks and celery stalks—and yes, I think I’m turning into a rabbit), and the right music blasting through the headphones, while I slouch in my office chair. When I’m really into a story and the words are flying onto the screen, that music becomes little more than white background noise. I cannot write in silence. Just can’t do it, and I’ve tried. Less than two minutes into that exercise in futility, I’ve got the headphones on and something playing.
And, then there is the time that I am most productive. Fortunately, insomnia lends itself to the time of day (in my case: time of night) that I’m most productive. Long after everyone in the house has settled into bed for the night, I’m at the keyboard, creating my own little world. But, it’s okay. They know me there.
And, that comes with the territory, too.