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Check out my science fiction series - The Fall of the Altairan Empire

Monday, July 9, 2012

Writing, Re-Writing, and Editing, Oh My!

I've been over my head in rewrites and edits for my series, The Fall of the Altairan Empire. I wrote all eleven books before I sold the first one. Nexus Point came out in December 2009. Priestess of the Eggstone, book 2, comes out August 10. The rest aren't scheduled yet, but I'm working them over so when the publisher asks, I can hand him a finished manuscript. I don't know about other authors, but in some ways, the rewrites and edits are the dreaded part of my writing.

I love putting that new story down on paper, discovering new characters and settings, surprising myself with twists and turns of the plot, struggling to figure out how to get out of the corner I just wrote myself into. It refreshing. I get completely absorbed in the story to the point I start setting places at the table for my characters. (Yes, I really did that. Ask my kids...)

Rewrites are tough. I'm struggling with book 3 right now. I know I need to fix the first half, but figuring out how is proving difficult. I've already written the rest of the series. What if I chop out a crucial piece of foreshadowing? What if I cut a scene they all refer back to in later books? It's like taking apart a jigsaw puzzle, losing half the pieces, then putting the remainder back together into a new picture that's almost like the old one.

I'm also fighting with the name. I've never liked the working title. I need something catchy and intriguing that hints at the plot without giving it away. I hate coming up with titles. I'm rotten at it. With my luck, as soon as I find a title I love, the publisher will ask me to change it.

On to Edits. Painful edits, mostly because I've learned a lot about the craft of writing since I wrote those books. But the stories are good. I find myself getting caught up in the story, even though I wrote it, I want to know what happens next. Book 4 and book 5 have weathered edits fairly well. Minor tweaks, mostly. The plot holds together, pacing is good, characters shine. I'm almost afraid to start on book 6. I know it needs some rewriting but not where or how, yet. Beta readers are invaluable here. I'm waiting on feedback for book 4.

So what do you love about writing? Creating characters and settings? The plot? Getting that first draft down? Or do you enjoy the editing process most?