Beyond reason

13Mar11

My fingers are cramped and inkstained, I’m a little bit shaky and delirious, and I’m running short on sleep.

No, not some weird addiction. Actually, yes, it is a weird addiction.

I’m writing again.

Or, to be more precise, I’m editing. I’ve spent the last few months (off and on) wading through Holly Lisle’s How To Revise Your Novel course, spending lot of time on analysis and on planning the changes that needed to be made to the Anneth story.

Finally, I’m putting the changes into place.

It’s all a bit dramatic – there’s a lot of red pen, characters have gone, other characters have changed sex, a couple of characters have even merged into a single being. And I’ve fundamentally changed the underlying premise of the novel … which is making it all very interesting.

But it’s all good. I’ve hit the point where I can’t help myself – I’ve got to work on this. The story is burning me up, just as it did the first time I wrote it (about 10 years ago). And despite my best intentions of pacing myself, not killing myself or driving myself insane over this, I’ve gone beyond reason. Anything – and I mean anything – that interrupts this rewrite kills me … I’m inclined to resent all the real-life interruptions that mean I can’t work on the story. Children, house, husband – all are getting short shrift. Poor Bella ended up watching TV all Friday afternoon so I could write. I even cut short one of my runs to squeeze in some extra writing.

And when I’m not writing, the story is loose in my head, rolling on, with fresh insights and the meaning of the changes filling in the bare-bones details of all those notes and little index cards. I get shaky when I think about it, anxious and uptight when I can’t work on it. My head is permanently in the story, so that I can’t do anything else without my thoughts wandering off back to it. It’s a bit like being in love, in those first few heady days of irrational obsession and all-consuming passion. I feel like a shambolic, staring-eyed, frazzle-headed madwoman. I’m surprised I’m not actually foaming at the mouth, or at least drooling.

I’m exhausted, but I’m having an absolute ball. I’d forgotten what a rush this was.

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4 Responses to “Beyond reason”

  1. How exciting. I am glad to read about writers that are in love with the editing process. I am there now with my first wip, and I am sort of scared about tearing it apart, but it looks like I will have to anyway. I am encouraged when I find people who are having a great time doing their own revisions.

    Have fun! And thank you for sharing.

  2. 2 ellsea

    Thanks!! How exciting to have your first story finished … and good luck with the editing. It’s not that painful. OK, I’m lying. It’s like ripping your eyeballs out and then trying to put them back in again. But it’s worth it …

    And if you’re really stuck for how to go about it, then I can’t recommend Holly Lisle’s courses highly enough – I’ve got a huge amount out of them. Check out http://www.howtoreviseyournovel.com (and no, I’m not an affiliate).

  3. A bit late reply, but I have one word for you: Awesome!

    I hope the months since March have been productive!

    Stu
    aka Myrddin

    • 4 ellsea

      well – I got the MS finished and it’s out on the rounds now – so fingers crossed! Just about to start editing the next one …

      How’s your writing going – all the moves done and dusted?


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