shaken & stirred

welcome to my martini glass

7.01.2005

a shameful secret

While I have been working the past few months, I haven't really been rewriting Girl's Gang. I certainly haven't been keeping to the schedule I set for finishing it. Yes, yes, I finished the cutting part based on KDL's line edits back in April, but then I wrote a few new chapters of Roanoke and spent a week polishing the first one to read at Wiscon. Then I had to write this story, which didn't actually take hellishly long (as opposed to all the other short stories I've attempted), but which I had to think about for a few days before I started writing.

Anyway.

One thing I think I know (always, always qualify) is that working through all those line edits and suggestions have made me a far better editor of my own work. I found that out because I actually did finally get started on the nitty gritty rewriting bit on Girl's Gang this week. I've set myself a tentative deadline for finishing of my birthday, which is doable if the mysterious illness stays at bay and I keep up the pace I've been keeping. I'm not married to that date though. Really, I'm just relieved.

It had gotten to be a pretty big monster in my mind, you see. Even though I had a much better idea of how to go about rewriting it and what needed to happen, there's this trait that novels have when you're contemplating fixing or even just diving back into them. They get immense. They go labyrinth on you. If I go in here, how will I ever find my way back out? I'll be eaten by the witch and forced to marry Hansel. And the house won't be made of gingerbread or candy (which, if you've ever tried to eat a gingerbread house is bad enough), it'll be made of BADNESS.

But you know, mostly that's just a trick of lighting. It's a magic lantern sort of thing. It really won't kill you. It's probably going to be easier than you think, even if that still means hard as hell. It will be exhausting. It will take longer than you think, maybe. But once you start doing it it, it's gets infinitely more doable.

So, I feel good. Despite the fact that it's taking me forever to finish, I'm having fun. I'm learning. And the book is getting much better for it.

I'm not writing another word on Roanoke until GG's finished. And that's the only condition I'm going to put on myself. For his is my corollary to Scott's first rule of writing:

Finish what you finish.

p.s. I also let the house go completely to mess this week, so much so that I'm now sort of hurriedly cleaning it back to the state where it used to be most of the time. & also, the one benefit of the cat being away is that I can typey typey in bed late at night before I go to sleep, which is one of my favorite ways to work. It's like sneaking in an extra hour or something. The procrastinator's golden time, the last possible second in which anything can be accomplished on any particular day. If only someone would invent a truly soundless keyboard.

1 Comments:

  • At 7:28 PM , Blogger Justine Larbalestier said...

    I know how you feel. Sometimes the last rewrite has to be put off a long time before it's even slightly safe to go in. But it's a great feeling knowing that no matter how hard it is it won't be as bad as the first draft. Good luck with it!

     

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