June 7, 2012

Editing: A Silver Lining

There is actually an attractive aspect to the editing process I think many writers like – I know I do. It’s the idea of re-experiencing a story during the editing process, bit by bit, after you have let a manuscript sit for awhile. Sometimes a finished rough draft can sit on my computer for months or even years before I go back to it and start the hacking and whacking process. But, like today, as I went back to SEEKING LIGHT AURORA and worked through a scene, I got to re-live it all over again, experiencing once again that fresh rush just like I had when I first wrote it.

There is something so special to me about my stories. I think it’s why writers will (and probably should) write whether they make money or not. And set aside the whole idea of being a good writer (since it’s so subjective anyway), I love experiencing the stories I come up with. In reality, “I” don’t come up with them at all. At least, I don’t think so. No, I’m not channeling some alien from a different planet and, no, ghosts don’t speak to me from beyond the grave. But I simply go about my daily life, working at whatever task I happen to have in front of me, and – BAM!! – someone walking towards me, a meeting I just had with an advertising executive, a conversation on the phone, a comment made by a character on a television show – anything can trigger sudden clarity of thought and send me on a new exploration into an idea, or part of an idea.

I know my upcoming story OBLIVION started out this way. I was working with a client one day out in the field and CAJAMA!! – I could see it. Monks! They were doing something. They were – guarding – something. It took about twenty minutes of poking and exploring inside my mind before I stumbled onto what it was they were protecting. They were protecting the world. From what? Wouldn’t you like to know….. Sorry, you’ll have to wait on that one. It might be a few years off still. 😉

BEING a writer is something I’ve had to re-learn. The writing part is just the mechanism, the conduit by which the writer gets his “ideas” out there. To be honest, I’m not really even thinking about a reader when I’m writing or dreaming up my next project. I think writing process is really just between the creator and his subject. Later on, that subject may be put on display for others to interact with, consume, digest, and ultimately react to. By then, though, the writer is often long since finished with that particular subject and has moved well beyond it to other adventures, other problems to sort out, other characters in different situations.

Often times I think this life is a dream…..

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