Welcome to the Dragon's Pen, the blog of an aspiring kiwi author ... chatting about reading, writing, querying and publishing

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Conquering the Beast

You'll know, if you read this semi regularly, I've been editing my MS for the past few months. What you might not know is that more recently I've been struggling with a portion of my MS in a big banging-my-head-against-the-wall sort of a way. Apparently this is quite normal. Writers do experience moments like this from time to time. We encounter them when we are writing and again and again and again during editing.

I think it's easier when we are in the writing phase to sweep these wee monsters under the carpet and pretend they aren't there. But come editing time it's much harder to pretend that all the problems and inconsistencies, plot issues, dull, boring, cardboard characters and lazy writing are not there!

They are THERE and they have to be dealt will. They can't be left as they are. These monsters must be vanquished or they will destroy any potential your story has of EVER leaving the slush pile.

For the last - lets be honest - six weeks I have been struggling with a particular large beast.

I admit I dragged my feet. I don't know that I was scared to face this monster, but I certainly wasn't looking forward to it. I procrastinated. I read books. I twiddled my thumbs. I didn't want to have to deal with the problems I saw. And there were many of them!

The whole passage was about 10-15 pages, about a quarter of the way through the book. Pieces I'd written way back in the beginning, some of the very first scenes I came up with before I really knew what shape the book would take on and who my characters were.

With the book now finished, bits of it no longer fitted. Scenes needed to be tweaked, characters filled out. New scenes had to be added in to provide info and to sew everything together seamlessly. There needed to be more character interaction, more conflict and more fighting. What a nightmare!

But today is a day to celebrate. I've conquered the beast.

This afternoon it breathed it's last breath and twitched it's last twitch.

It feels great to have it done and I'm pretty pleased with what has come out of it. The characters feel fuller and more vivid, and there are some nice action scenes in there too. Which is awesome!

Editing wise, it's pretty much all down hill from here. There's still lots to do, but there are no more mountains to climb and no more great, hairy, slobbering beasts to slay.

A days work well done, if I do say so myself.
I hope you're having as much success in your own writing corner.

Note: Sorry about all the typos. I think I've fixed them all now.


  1. Oh, great to hear your progress! It was so quiet here but I can relate. Well done, you!

  2. Glad you've made such wonderful inroads on that dratted piece. I know how much it has been bothering you.

    I love your optimism. I'm sure there will be a few more beasties before you reach the end. Even if they are just pussy cats!