I’ve been very quiet about the editing of my novel lately, and if you were following my twitter and Facebook streams you might be forgiven for thinking it’s taken a bit of a back seat.
In reality, it hasn’t, and I’m still putting twenty plus hours a week into it. I’m just balls-deep in rewrites.
I’m now onto the last few chapters, and in this draft they are amongst the oldest writings. Throughout the editing process I’ve been fine tuning the direction of the book and it’s here that all the threads get pulled together. So it’s natural that they would need the most amount of work.
My friends often bemoan my rewriting. I think they see it as some procrastination activity to stop me ever having to say that the book ready. But in truth, if one thing has stayed constant, throughout the years I’ve worked on this book, it’s the vision of what I wanted it to be.
I happened to comment on a tweet on Peter V Brett’s that said he’d rewritten one scene 43 times. He replied with reassurance that if you’re not happy, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.
And that’s what I’ve been doing these last few chapters. Bring the plots to a climax and satisfactory end.
Still there is something quite magical when characters who’ve had separate threads for a hundred thousand words finally meet. You just can’t help getting goosebumps.
The rewrites won’t change anything plot-wise, just ramp up the tension. It’s fine tuning , turning the awesome dial to 11.
What this has made me realise is that the actual story arc is pretty strong. I read a review over at Amanda’s blog of The Blade Itself and was reminded how that novel doesn’t really have a strong story arc. The Name of the Wind was like this also. I think you’ll come to the end of this book and feel you’ve been on a journey. The end has always bothered me as being a little open ended but I think that worry was unfounded. Besides, this edit really is going some way to strengthen it even more.
Just as good music has melody, so I think this novel has a rhythm to it. It’s taken a lot to appease my inner critic but there have been numerous times whilst editing this book, little things I’d forgotten crop up which have made me think, “if this had been a book I was reading, I really would be enjoying it right now”.
That’s good. I can’t guarantee anyone else is going to love (or even like) this book, but I actually think it’s really, really good (and as someone ultra critical of their own work, that takes some saying).
I just need to guide these final two and a half chapters home.