Andy, Jeremy, Tim,
I just did my first 1,000 words of edit proofing this morning.
When i received the manuscript from book one back from my editor, it of course had a world of edits to change and approve but it also carried one critique that really stuck. My two protagonists were sounding too similar.
That isn’t necessarily bad actually, since my book does pit two good men against each other, each thinking that they are doing the right thing so the fact that one man can go against himself if the shoe was put on the other foot is actually kinda cool but they were sounding a bit too similar. I could have left it alone because it is an interesting dynamic, two good guys doing the right thing but faced against one another, making the reader question whether there really is anything as a bad guy, maybe there are people who are doing the right thing except that the right thing can sometimes clash. But what really brought me pause is that in book two, that i am a solid quarter through (that quarter already being 62,000 words! A full book!) i introduced another protagonist and guess what? He was sounding just like the other dudes. Now that is not cool.
So i stopped writing, and took an ah-mazing writing workshop on character voice. I already knew most but it was a great reminder of how to easily flesh out my people. But the thing is, i took this pause as an excuse to not to write. My momentum was shot and i wasn’t doing the classes!
It’s a six week class but in reality is just six days since i could go at my own pace and each lecture and the homework could have been done in a day but i just glanced it, all the while, not writing. Finally, i told myself enough is enough and scheduled one day for week x, next day for writing homework of week x, followed by y and z. I knocked out the final three weeks of modules in about four to five days.
After that, i still procrastinated by writing a few character sketches. Nothing too big and crazy, but it was another perfectionist, excuse-not-to-write, activity.
Finally, after all that, i woke up at 6am today, went to Starbucks, and did my first 1,000 editorial pass. Only 131,000 more to go! But even though this is just a small sample for editing, it does represent a major step for me. I’m back to writing! Well, editing, but you know what i mean.
Sorry for the long email, but it tends to happen with me. I’m a writer! I just felt–needed–to share this with some someones and now i just realized that i am going to copy and paste this and put it as a blog post!
Thank you if you made it this far. Just have to share this writing craft turmoil and journey with folks and you guys have been instrumental in helping me in my dream of becoming a self sustaining author.