Sunday 11th June 2017
Editing is simultaneously both fun and incredibly hard. Mentally, I’m deep into the line edits although in terms of number of chapters I’m still very near the beginning and I’m finding some of the changes really challenging.
It’s not because they are difficult, per say, it’s just that they are making me think about the story in a completely different way. I love that and it’s making it a fun experience, but every so often I get a note in the comments that makes me stop, scratch my head and have to walk away.
I’ve heard numerous successful people in various industries talk about pulling from both ends, where you position yourself simultaneously from two extreme and opposing angles, to get that sweet spot in the middle. And it’s a bit like that here.
On one hand, every change and deletion that’s suggested, however painful, isn’t instantly rejected. In fact, taking the principle that I can always change it back, I’ve been pretty ruthless in deleting stuff. That’s included a few darlings that have left me having to stand up and take a break afterwards.
But at the same time, I’m keeping in mind that this is my book and each change needs to be considered. So nearly every change is being accepted, but not blindly so.
My guiding principle is whether it makes the book better. If it makes Adrian look clever but doesn’t serve the book, then it goes. Although, I will admit to having a section in Scrivener for pieces I could possibly reuse elsewhere.
As I pretty much expected, I’ve only had one change where I thought to myself, “no, that sentence has to stay”.
And so, pushing the fear that I’m taking a sledgehammer to the prose to one side, this has been a fun and interesting exercise. And exhausting as well. I’m expending a huge amount of mental energy on it.
I didn’t really get to the edits until the afternoon. This morning I had to update the School of the Sword website with all our recent wins. This weekend, we pretty much cleared out Sweden and another friend won in Athens.
This is all great but it’s leaving me starting to feel the pressure. I want to do well, I want to see the benefit of all the work I’ve put in, but as I said at the beginning of the year, I suspect that come Astolat and Fightcamp I’m going to get very frustrated.
I’m telling everyone now so that they can hold me accountable when that happens. I went sparring this morning, a drive twice as long as the length of the sparring. Not a huge amount of people and despite having my ideal fighting breakfast (two bowels of porridge) I wasn’t pleased with my fighting.
My sword & buckler was all over the place. I wasn’t even cutting properly and I’m not sure what’s happening there. Rapier & dagger seems better but I still didn’t feel on point.
I guess that turning up and fighting on those days when you are totally crap are the investment you make towards having those days when everything goes right.
I desperately need more tournaments and whilst Fran found one just down the road from here, it’s backsword and there’s nothing I hate more than people who go and fight in weapon disciplines without having ever studied the weapon. That said, if people are good they should be able to defeat an unskilled opponent, so perhaps I need to change my thinking here. Mark, who said he has the backsword weapon they use in the competition, said he’d bring it on Wednesday.
So who knows? Perhaps I’m prepared to be “that guy”.
I came back to a call out from the day job. That’s another 3 hours overtime, although I suspect someone will try and query it. Not going to get stressed if they do, but simply say, they either want me to do Out of hours or not. Simple as. I hate it when you work 3 hours and then someone tries to argue that perhaps you should only put 2 through.
Then it was on to edits, making slow work. The major stuff has gone fast, these micro edits now seem to be taking time. I would have liked to have done 5 chapters today, with the view that it would give me time at the end to re-read the entire book and ensure there are no plot holes or pieces I’m unhappy with. I think I was being over-ambitious in getting 5 chapters done.
I ended up watching the Microsoft E3 conference, mainly as a break from the edits. I need to find something I can dip in and out of for a couple of minutes at a time as a palette cleanser whilst I do these edits. Even a 20 minute gaming session is too long, so I need to think about that.
The conference had a lot of interesting games, and I like how a lot of Xbox one games are also coming out for PC but I have so little time for gaming these days. I have been working hard this year, so perhaps when these edits are done, I’ll do a massive gaming session.
I desperately need to catch up in Warcraft.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels. Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.
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