Writing is Like Ogres

While editing tonight, I realized something.  Well, some of the realization took place during work earlier, and some of it is a result of the stuff I was thinking about on the way home before I started editing for the night, but it crystallized while I was editing and it’s partly about the editing process.  I realized that, as the title says, writing is like ogres.  No, not big and ugly and stinky.  And only sometimes found in the company of talking donkeys. Okay, sometimes it’s mean and dirty and makes you cry, but that’s not the point.  No, like ogres, writing has layers.  In fact, I’m finding that editing is partly about adding those layers.

You see, while I’m doing actual structural editing and some story editing on Dark Mirror, I’ve also been thinking about stuff that’s later in the book, things I need to work on, like character journeys and the lead up to choices and that kind of thing.  And lets not even get started on sub-plots.  I’m finding that editing is the perfect time to not only think about these things, but also to layer them in as your going, which is exactly what I’m doing.  I added a few paragraphs to the end of a chapter today, one I had finished editing last night, in order to start layering in more about a choice Fay has to make later, so that the decision doesn’t seem so abrupt.  There’s other things I’m going to have to do as well, working with the parts that I’ve written and making them fit together better or lead the reader where I’d like they’re mind to wander, but that’s part of why editing can be so great.  It’s where you add the finesse really.

I’m also finding that those layers I’m adding aren’t just for the book I’m working on.  Some of it is intended to be the subtle set up for Possession (book 2 for anyone new to the blog), though only my test readers will be able to tell me if I’ve been subtle enough to leave the loose threads I need for that without leaving readers of DM feeling dissatisfied.  A hard balance to strike, and I’d prefer to actually strike it properly.  I hate it when I get to the end of a book and feel completely unfulfilled by the ending, like I’ve been left hanging with an incomplete book.  I had that happen recently and was so pissed off that I’ve sworn I’m never reading that author again, which is too bad because it was a very well done book until the end.  I’d really prefer I never do that to my own readers.  And no, I’m not naming names or giving titles for that book, before anyone asks, for a lot of reasons, mostly because it’s not the point.  Really, the point I’m trying to make here is that I intend to learn from the mistakes I’ve seen other writers make, from the things they’ve done to piss me off as a reader and try to avoid doing those same things.

In other news, tonight’s picture, taken just last year, near Deep Cove here in BC.  You’ll notice I tend to prefer working close up with my camera.

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About Julie

I'm a writer and photographer. I always have something with me to take notes for ideas or writing projects I'm thinking about or have on the go. I also like to go around with my camera and take pictures of anything that strikes me as beautiful or evocative. I'm perpetually working on one story or another, while waiting for enough distance to judge the last one (or more). I'm always working on several projects at once, developing the next book, even as I'm editing the last. Beyond that, there's always plenty of scraps and twists of ideas rolling around in my head, eventually turning themselves into full blown stories.
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2 Responses to Writing is Like Ogres

  1. It took me an embarrassingly long time to work out what the pic was of (sigh)

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