Scribbling Away Madly…or Something Like That
Folks, I’m still working hard at CHANGING FACES. I had hoped to have my rewrite done by now, but it’s not done yet.
I’m happy with what I’m doing, mind. I just worry because I can’t write as fast as I used to…and I think there’s a story behind that.
You see, when Michael was alive, he and I used to talk writing all the time. We’d discuss our stories, what was vexing us (usually what was vexing me, but sometimes he’d be vexed, too, with his stories and I’d help him out), and being able to talk about these things immediately helped me write at a much faster clip.
And it’s not just that Michael and I used to talk about everything, though we did; it’s that he was a phenomenal editor. He could find areas that I had unintentionally glossed over and helped me flesh them out; he fixed any possible errors before anyone else saw them; he could double-check whether my plotting worked or I had to go back to the drawing board.
Having Michael there to help me was an enormous help. I didn’t worry so much that I was doing it right, and my sneaky, snarky Editor Voice was much quieter — it knew that if I didn’t pick up on the problems, Michael would.
All of that allowed me to write with greater flexibility, greater freedom, and with much better speed.
Mind, I’m very fortunate that I have at least two very good friends who are exceptional editors. I can trust them. They know me, know my style, know at least some of the stuff Michael saw instantly and can and have told me when I need to fix things. Which is all very good.
The main thing to remember, though, is that my writing process has changed somewhat since Michael died. For one, I incorporated much of his style into my own writing. For another, even though I feel Michael’s love all around me (and very blessed to have it, too, as I well know), it’s not the same as having him right there at my shoulder, where I could turn and ask him, “Hey, what do you think of that?” and get immediate answers.
See, to Michael, I was his top priority. (As he was mine.) And my stories mattered to him, just as his mattered to me.
While I can sometimes write thousands of words in a day, now, it’s rare. Usually I can get a thousand or maybe two thousand, especially when I’m doing a rewrite and am trying to juggle all the balls I know need to be juggled while getting all the bits and pieces of story to fit together again.
If it makes any sense, Michael used to help me hold those pieces. He could remind me of where they went, even if I forgot.
Now, I have to remember all that myself.
I have been called a “meticulous plotter” before. I take pride in this, as odd as that may sound. And I want my plotlines to stand up — I want people to know I’ve thought them through, in order to provide verisimilitude and resonance, in order to help you get immersed in my stories (and my husband’s, too).
So while I’m going to continue to work very hard on CHANGING FACES, I don’t know if it’ll come out before the end of this year or not. I do know that if I keep working away, I will get it back to my publisher in a week or two (providing I don’t get badly stalled out, which I pray I don’t).
And because that’s the most important thing going on here, everything else — blogs, book reviews, editing, everything — has to take a back seat to that.
I hope that you all understand.