Editing – Say hello to my new friend

Editing

I am about a third of the way through draft one of my second novel. As with any first draft there are moments of celebrations and moments of utter failure. As mentioned in an earlier post, it’s a non-Stop roller coaster ride.

On the plus side I’m on par with my first novel. Consistency is good. Right? Right!?

 

I didn’t see it coming

I’m taking chances, trying new things and realizing that half of what I do probably won’t work. But on the bright side, I’m okay with all that.

But there is one thing that stands out that didn’t when I wrote my first novel: I’m actually looking forward to editing.

For a lot of writers, editing is not at the top of their happy list. Either by themselves or with an editor they must make the dreaded decision of what stays and what goes. 

That decision alone can cause a boatload of anxiety. Trust me. The first time I did my own edits the self-doubt that I consumed almost killed me. I was positive I was ruining the story by removing the wonderful backstories that I created.

 

My how things have changed

But this time around things are different and it’s nice. I’m seeing editing in a completely different way. Instead of closing a door or blowing it up I see it as a way of creating new scenes, of expanding the character or adding another layer to the story.

No longer is it doom or gloom. Editing has become a positive expansion of creating the adventure. In fact I’ve caught myself a few times wanting to stop and fix things or add new ideas. But I won’t allow it until draft one is complete.

When I first started writing I was afraid what editing would be like. I feared it would be depressing or worse – A chore. First there’s vacuuming, now there’s editing. Imagine the hell if that were true.

For those of you starting out try to think of editing as an expansion of your work. It doesn’t have to be a pain at all. Think of editing as a partnership and a wonderful one at that.   

Editing 1

Fozzie meets the dead of winter

The leaves are disappearing, the wind is getting colder as the dead of winter nears. Which means one thing: Fozzie is having a blast. Go figure.

For my friends on the other side of the world: Enjoy your summer. For the rest of us, try to have fun like Fozzie. 

Enjoy your week. It’s December. Have fun!!!

Fozzie Winter

I hate you first person…..I think

first person 1

We were never meant to be

I never meant to write my novel in first person but when it happened, I told myself it was nothing more than a passing phase. Even now, in this exact moment, I’m pretty sure I believe that.

But no matter how hard I try, no matter what I do, I’m drawn to the damn thing. 

 

I trip a lot

I think a lot of it has to do with the clumsy narrator. I’m kind of a clumsy guy myself. My narration in everyday life never lives up to par and I’m probably the last person you’d want to give directions to.

Adding another layer to this, I’m also the one that is famous for saying the most inappropriate thing in a crowded room.

Maybe it all comes down to me writing a novel where I am the star. Good God, I’m an egomaniac. This is scarier than I thought.

 

Life imitates art

When I wrote Dempsey’s Grill I had a clear understanding why it had to be first person. The narrator and I had a lot in common. At one time or another we were broke, dumped by a girl and could never shake that constant fear of turning thirty. 

On the bright side I was never shot at, unlike the narrator.

 

I was supposed to dump you

first person 2

When book two came around it was third person all the way. I would cover the landscape full of thrills and joy rides and all things luxurious. Snakes included.

But I could feel the pull. At first it was nothing more than a tug, maybe a little push, but at the end it became a full blown yank.

Hello first person.

 

Goodbye old friend

Waving Goodbye on Train

I have now decided this will be my last first person novel. Never, ever again I say. All the greats do third person. That’s where the action is. This first person stuff is just practice, right? Right?

So here I go. Onward to book two, first person. He too is a clumsy sort of guy but at least he’s his own person. 

I can hear the calling of third person. Now all I need to do is to figure out how to answer it. 

 

Fozzie Rocks

Fozzie braved the cold and rain in order to sit on his favorite rock. Don’t ask me why it had to be this particular rock. I’m not even sure Fozzie has an answer to that one.

Rock or not, Fozzie is hoping you have a rockin’ week. Yes, horrible writing. My apologies. If you’re experiencing the fall weather stay warm but if you’re my weird Australian friends enjoy your summer. I’ll never get use to that.  🙂

Fozzie Rock

My Lost Novel

Sully Novel

Four years ago I was vacationing in San Diego. One night while enjoying a warm evening an idea came to mind. I remember taking notes, jotting down clues and enjoying the moment that something good was in the works.

I came home and wrote the first draft. It didn’t feel right but all was forgiven. Only the rare ones get it right the first time around. The rest of us are left to suffer the first draft woes.

So I went on to draft two but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was off. Something was missing. A key ingredient if you may. But no matter how hard I tried my taste buds remained dull.

 

Stepping Away

I decided to take a step back and try a different angle. I tried casting a different light and rewrote the protagonist. 

I was positive things would work out. They always do, or at least I thought. Eventually the wrinkles disappear, the story opens up and in no time at all I’m Dorothy opening the black and white door to the colorful world of Oz.

Nothing happened.

The black and white door remained locked. I felt like I missed it by inches. At times I swore I touched it. My fingertips brushing the ends.

 

A difficult decision

So I put the story away, positive I’d see it again. Time does have a way of revealing things, doesn’t it?

There are moments when I can see the characters. A little redheaded girl with blue eyes and a toothless grin. I can see her mom and her grandpa but the moment they stand clear I feel them fading away.

After three failed attempts I decided to put them away. I had to be realistic. I couldn’t wing it. The story had to be told right or not at all. 

 

I will figure you out

I am positive that one day I will see it. I keep listening for the little girl to talk to me. I have a feeling she’s the one that has something to say. 

I’ve never had a story do this to me. All of my stories are chatterboxes. Sure, some are hesitant at first but in time they break out of their shell.

But not this one.

Someday it will come to me. The dull taste will be replaced with amazing spices. But most of all the little redheaded girl will hand me the key to her colorful adventure.  

Sully Novel 2

Fozzie climbs a tree

Fozzie had a bright idea to climb a tree today. Unfortunately he forgot how to climb down. 

While he’s figuring this out he asked me to wish all of you a fantastic week.

Bundle up if you’re cold, jump in the pool if your hot but most of all, please wish him well as he tries his best to climb down. 

Good luck, Fozzie!!!! 

Fozzie tree

Feeling What the Characters Feel

Emotional

When I wrote Dempsey’s Grill I was surprised with the emotional rollercoaster I experienced. I never thought I would actually feel what the characters felt. 

I just thought I’d write the thing and move on.

 

I probably need help

Whenever I wrote a happy chapter I was happy all day. The same goes for a sad or nervous one. Let’s give a moment of thanks that I didn’t write about a trigger happy assassin.

Yes, to much. 

The biggest challenge I had was keeping my emotions in check. For example: If I spent the day writing an angry scene I had to remind myself not to snap at the kids the moment they walked through the door. 

 

Anger is a good thing

For the longest time I had to convince myself this wasn’t normal. How could something I created affect my emotions so much? There’s probably a word for it. Whatever it is it’s probably not a good one.

No matter how hard I fought, the emotions continued. Finally I realized, and accepted that it was all part of what I do.

Looking back I realize now it was a good thing. It meant I was doing something right. There was a connection and connections are a good thing if we’re trying to entertain.

 

Here I go again

Emotion 1

So now I’m back at it again and to no surprise the emotional rollercoaster is all fired up and ready to go. Some days I’m bummed out while other days I’m on top of the world.

Is it exhausting? You be it is, but if my goal is to entertain someone then I have to see this as a good sign. 

Most of all it is the only way I know how.

So here I go. Ready to tackle another chapter. If I appear a little grumpy to those of you I contact, please forgive me and be patient. A happy Bryan is sure to be found in a coming chapter.