Thank you to my fantastic crit partner who today blogged about our working together. Heather is amazing and keeps me focused on what's important and our weekly Skype meeting brings the right sort of rhythm to this writer's life. And thank you for waking me from my cocoon.
So... I've been enjoying the safety of just editing. Just the pages and feedback from readers and tweaking and rewriting and adding and deleting. Just working on that one task of making the novel as good as it can be. For me, it's easier to keep my head down and surround myself with words rather than look up into the blogosphere and research agents and do all the things that bring the writing career to the next level.
I love editing, but when to stop?
Last week we went to the tulip fields of Washington state's Skagit Valley. At first I thought the fields and fields of tulips were for the tourists. Very cool, but what an extravagance. Uh, no. All those fields were working farms and this east coaster learned how tulips are harvested. First the bulbs must bloom, then the flowers are cut, but the leaves and stalks and all the green remains so the nutrients can travel back down into the bulbs. A few months later the bulbs are then dug up and shipped across the world. We saw some of the cutting. It's done by hand and not all blooms are ready at the same time; there will be another pass through.
Which made me think of editing. Helping our words bloom, knowing when to cut them and how long to leave them alone. When go to go back with fresh eyes and, yes, when to ship them out.
I think I'm getting ready to ship out Romeo, Romeo, my YA novel of three high school guys. It began as a screenplay several years ago and morphed into a novel. I've been editing a complete first draft for a year and a half. Not that the time itself matters, but now it feels right.
How do we know when we're ready for the next step?
1 day ago