Last time I wrote, it was about editing.  And again, it comes back to that, but with a more specific tilt.  I got past the point I was writing about, a scene I enjoyed writing, but something hadn’t been sitting right with me.  And after a while, I realised what it was.

The story I’m working on had its origins in an RPG background I wrote once, while a friend and I tried to write our own RPG game-system.  It was only a brief sketch of a world, a handful of days work really, but some details caught my eye then.  The background itself never really went anywhere, but three or four of those ideas evolved either into short stories, plans for stories, or – in this case – something bigger.  I started writing, intending to write a brief, frivolous tale.  Then I changed it, changed it, watched it grow, and before I knew it and quite without my planning it, it had grown into the largest thing in terms of scope that I’d ever worked on.

Not just in world terms, but in plot terms.  The story itself has nothing to do with the origin; but the origin is, itself, a story too, which layers into and over everything.

But that origin, that initial scene that kicked the whole thing off, had left a splintered thorn in my head somewhere.  The idea was silly, simple and direct, and came from one of the ideas I’d had when I was creating that RPG background, one that struck me as funny, and gave me an idea for a fun mechanic to use.  It worked, sort of; but the longer the story went on, the more space there was to examine it, and to wonder if, really, it should have happened the way it did.  That in turn rolled down into things that didn’t feel right, and also robbed the tale of some of the intensity that it could have been gifted, in places.  So recently, I went back to the beginning, and rewrote the whole opening from scratch, bolting the new one in over the top of the other before beginning to work through the pass-over edit to patch in everything that needed to echo forwards from it.

I’m about 1/3 of the way through now.  It means re-reading my work, which is at once encouraging – I like it more than I sometimes think I do – and a little odd, as I take issues with some of the writing.  I have a very specific take on how I want my book to be readable, and it doesn’t lend itself to every style of writing, but it has its heart in how I once read a well-known series of books, and how – part way in – one of those books, though good, proved to be much less accessible this way.  Maybe I’ll go into that in detail at some point.

Anyway — editing, editing, it feels like just so much procrastination sometimes!  But at the same time, I know it’s necessary for the way I write.  I need to know what came before, and the more I write, the more it needs to go back to the beginning, like piling so much salt in a heap.  The taller it gets, the more of what you add trickles back down to the bottom instead of staying at the top.  The foundations allow me to keep building up.

But for all that, I have to make sure that, when I reach the end of this session of editing, I allow myself to continue with the real writing!  After all, that’s what I love, and that’s what I need to do in order to create what I’ve set out to create.  And I have a dozen ideas for things that I’ve looked forward to writing — conflicts, encounters, twists, turns and romances that are yet to happen, though some I’ve already hinted at.

Writing at once delights, intrigues, captivates and terrifies me.  I truly love it, and I’m only really happy when it’s in my life and working well.

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