Editing: A progress report

My desk in a state of metamorphosis. Soon, a beautiful wild bookshelf will appear.

Happy Friday to all (and to all a happy Friday?). I've felt a wave of guilt over the sparseness of content on A, ROBOT for the past few months and felt it was time to rectify that.

I've been hard at work editing my manuscript, which, as most of you know, is a time-consuming process not unlike the cellular division of HUMAN BIOLOGY. It's fucking epic. After finishing my last manuscript, a 70,000 word young adult thing that I'm not entirely proud of, I edited the whole thing in a month. But, looking back, I realized I hadn't edited it at all. I'd looked for spelling and grammar mistakes -- the vestigial tale of a former newspaper editor -- but I hadn't really sunk my teeth into the material itself. I hadn't questioned what I was writing, why I was writing it, and whether it was a true reflection of who I was and what I was trying to communicate.

It wasn't. And I'm fucking relieved that the agent I pitched it to said, "No thanks, send us something else."

That was two years ago. A lot has changed in two years, and a lot of words have been written/edited over that span. The unquestioning (lazy?) practice of fast-paced copy editing has been replaced by a dense, OCD-riddled, self-introspective battle of true editing. It's difficult, but it's also fun (much like battle, I assume ...), and the quality of the material has grown exponentially in that time of growth -- that time of cell division. My work is tighter, my real voice is coming through, and, most importantly, I'm learning to actually enjoy my own work and be fucking proud of it. Never thought I'd see that day.

Editing has become a full-time job, which isn't always easy considering I already have a full-time job. But the routine is getting easier to maintain, aside from finding time to update A, ROBOT. Coming home from work and turning on a different computer to do a different sort of work has become a sort of Zen self-punishment (toward enlightenment?), but it's punishment I thoroughly enjoy. I make time, and find time, to edit at night and on weekends, and soon, with less than 80 pages remaining to edit, I will have completed the second draft of my story. High five.

The final draft -- the Dental Draft, as it's often called -- will require the last bits of delicate surgery before all the teeth are cleaned and polished and ready to glisten and chew on food and smile. And then it's time to submit, submit, submit. As soon as I have something more refined to share, I will post an excerpt to the site. But, of course, perfectionist that I am, I will have to pry that excerpt out of my own dead fingers to share, which will take some sort of magic to accomplish

Til next time.