Novel Update #22: A Writer’s journey
So Sam is about to be admitted to hospital (Novel update #6).
It’s going to be a very scary time for Mary, his wife as she comes to deal with the nightmare that lies ahead of her.
I know this because I have been hanging out with them for a very very long time.
Back in Novel Update #9 I revealed that I had finally completed writing my manuscript for Fallout.
Over the course of a year and a half later, I am still editing. But I really am making progress.
You see, the manuscript was completed in August of 2014. This was followed by a stars-aligning-moment of securing a professional editor/published author in the fall of that year to edit my work. She completed a full manuscript evaluation by New Year’s.
That left 2015 as the year of tedious and challenging editing work.
I spent most of last year composing
- Character trajectories,
- Analysing plot development and structure,
- Sharpening point of view perspectives,
- Cleaning up grammatical errors,
- And overall, trying to figure out how all the pieces of a successful novel came together.
The writing exercises and critical analysis led me to a far more focused chapter-by-chapter (deadline-based) schedule that began earlier this year and continues to now.
The journey has been eye-opening indeed.
The brilliance of an editor, who is a published author and can effortlessly view the entire story from the perspective of a reader, has been incredibly invaluable and astoundingly insightful.
I boasted in the past of knowing my characters but really all I knew was the surface one-dimensional aspect on paper, no matter how many details I could regurgitate about them.
Now, as Mary watches her husband enter the hospital, I feel her stress, her angst, her pain and bewilderment of what is to come.
As an editor who has a grand vision and unique ability to view the manuscript with a distant critical eye, there is also an unusual benefit for the writer of the work itself.
I intimately know how the story will unfold and yet I still must trudge every meandering and painful inch forward , traveling alongside the characters as they reach the end. This keeps the emotion of the story alive for me as well, an intricate privilege of the writing journey itself.
What a crazy and exciting and wonderful learning experience this has been so far!
If you’re a writer slugging along with a manuscript let me just say, please keep at it!
There is great value in not merely the finished product. The Journey, oftentimes a lonely one, does strengthen you. It builds you up, challenges your mind and your creativity, allowing you to explore an array of colourful genius you never knew existed within. And every single one of those maddening steps, is worth it. Trust me!
And so, on it will go…
Paula Antonello Moore, The Novel. Copyright: Sunday, June 5, 2016
Image: Colourful Stairs from homedit.