Saturday and Sunday, I edited. And edited. And edited some more. I almost felt like I was chained to the desk on Sunday afternoon. The weather was perfect. Slight breeze, gorgeous temperatures, and sun! It was hard for me to stay at my computer - especially since I couldn't use my laptop. But darn it, I was determined to get this done.
Unfortunately, this one chapter took me both days to do. It was a pivotal moment for my characters and thus, it had to be exactly perfect - or, as perfect as I can get it. I think I slaved over each and every word. I deleted a lot, then started again. I'm still not happy with how I ended the chapter and I think I'll work on that a bit more before declaring it a done deal.
It's funny how the writing process works. In writing the novel, we're supposed to ignore our inner editor, to not worry over whether or not what we write is crap - after all, we can fix crap, right?
Well, when it comes time to fixing that crap, it's hard. I told my husband today that the scene I was working on was extremely difficult. All the elements had to fall together in these few pages - emotions, characterization, pacing, etc. And if they didn't, the reader wouldn't be satisfied. But until I'm satisfied - i.e., I'm feeling what my character's feeling and holding my breath while I read it - it's not done.
But, even though it is hard when it comes to editing, I love it. This is the time when I can play, where I can tinker and make it exactly how I want it (but not tinker too long, or else I run the risk of over-editing!).
In fact, this whole writing process is hard. Very hard. If you want to get it right, you have to do your work, put in your time, study the craft, write, write, write, then write some more. It's not easy. It's nerve-wracking. It takes away time from your family and friends. It gives you back aches. It makes you drink loads of Diet Pepsi and eat dark chocolate (funny - I now prefer dark chocolate to milk chocolate). But oh, the rewards! I wrote a piece tonight for this scene that I thought was so good, I couldn't believe I'd done it. And you know what I did? I emailed it to myself - just that little scene - just in case something happened to my file. How bizarre is that? I also used to stuff my hard copy of my first novel in my freezer - that was before my Mom bought me a fireproof safe - to make sure it survived any calamities.
If you're a writer, celebrate! Embrace your calling! Yeah - it's a strange, difficult, wonderful, awesome job. But really - would you have it any other way?
"God created me to write. I will write no matter what."