Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wings Clipped, Ready to Fly

My younger son is a student journalist, and one of the things they are taught is to develop catchy titles for articles that capture the essence of the writing as well as hook the reader. Hence my attempt with 'Wings Clipped, Ready to Fly.'

So what does it mean??

I've finished my intensive edits for "The Wings of Winter" and clipped the original 160k+ manuscript to 120K. It's leaner, meaner, and better paced. I'm quite pleased with the way this story has held up, considering it was the first novel I'd completed. I found some bad habits along the way, and with any luck, will translate what I've learned editing this project into the next story I write.

Working as an artist of any kind is a process. It is my sincere hope that 5 years from now, I will look on my current writing and see that I'm better at it. Likely I'll see flaws and patterns I am unable to see now. 5 years after that? The same thing. I hope to be growing as a writer with every page I draft.

This completes an editing process that began this summer, when I did a full contact/take no prisoners revision of "MindBlind." Following that, I revamped "The House of Many Doors," only to take yet another pass after my agent's read. Now "Wings" is done.

Of my completed novels, there is only "Heal Thyself" awaiting its turn under the red pen and the glare of a desk light. I"m not sure it is ready for that level of scrutiny. It still feels too 'fresh' and I keep balking when I think of cutting the opening chapters to the extent I think the story needs. So I'm not ready yet either.

Besides, I am getting that itch to write something new, instead of wanting to pour over old words. Editing and creating are such totally different tasks, it's nearly impossible for me to do them both simultaneously. I have two projects in various stages of work: a YA urban fantasy/fairy story and a medical thriller. I've never worked on 2 novels at the same time, but it might be interesting to have 2 projects to switch between when the inevitable icky middle happens.

I'm not sure if that will slow my pace (a book a year) down, or speed it up.

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