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The Slog

27 January 2012

20120127-111805.jpgWriting fiction, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, is a whole lot of fun. I get to sit down, fire up whatever iDevice is closest, and make up worlds, characters, and stories. It’s like telling the silly, outrageous lies we used to as kids (“I didn’t do it, because I was in a submarine at the time!”), except now no one can stop me from making shit up. It’s pretty great most of the time.

But there’s another side to writing fiction, and that part is a whole lot less fun. When you’ve finished the story you’re working on (I definitely don’t recommend doing any of this while writing), you have to polish. Revise. Redraft. Make tweaks and changes here and there. And while that bit is less fun than writing, there’s at least some rewriting in there, so it’s not all bad.

Then you get to editing. Revision. Copy edits. You get to focus on every bit of every word, look at everything you did wrong and try to fix it. I’m lucky, in that I have a great editor and a great copy editor, but slogging through 300-odd pages of edits just feels like… work. Day-job work.

It’s my least favorite part of the process, but I know it has to be done. Thankfully, my publisher sets some pretty tight deadlines for those sorts of things, and my OCD spins up like mad when it hears the word “deadline.” I hate missing deadlines, so at least I have that going for me — otherwise, I’d probably never get edits done inside of a couple of months.

I don’t paint, but I assume that when a painting is done, it’s done. Not so with a novel — when I feel like I’m done writing it, that just means it enters Phase Two of work. It’s still a lot of fun, but sometimes, slogging through edits all night makes me feel like I haven’t done any actual writing. It’s the worst part of the job, made better by the fact that, as I noted above, I have pretty damned great editors.

So, what’s the most boring part of what you love to do? How do you convince yourself to keep slogging through?

Oh, and side note: I finished edits on the second 47 Echo book last night. So, yay! Out of edits and revisions for a while!

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