As I work my way through this writing and editing process, I am constantly amazed by the all the changes I’ve experienced. For instance, I’ve finally decided that my novel will now be a trilogy. It started out as a thought, then grew and grew as plots and subplots developed and characters were added. It started out as a single novel, but I thought as it grew larger and more complex that it was too complicated, so I rearranged it into eleven sections. Then I merged it into a single novel again. And now it will be a trilogy. Yes, this is my final answer.
My book has gone through several incarnations over the course of several years. Each time it would become too intense I would set it aside for a few months, then rediscover it, edit it, and let it grow again. As it stands today, I have the first volume almost half edited at around 97,000 words. And I’ve noticed that even after so many edits, I still find lots of dropped words and even a few misused words, like “rational” instead of “rationale”. Thank goodness for the OED, without it I’d be lost. The mind has this wonderful, if frustrating, capability of seeing the the wrong thing, like a dropped word, and filling in the blank with the right thing as you read the sentence so that it makes sense. You’ve got to be really careful if you choose to self-edit.
I don’t know if you’ve experienced this after picking up something you’ve set aside for a while, but I have. What I’m talking about is seeing parts of your writing as if you’re seeing it for the first time. It’s kind of a weird experience, especially if it’s good. You encounter the words and it’s like, “Wow, I don’t remember this, but it’s pretty good”. And you know that you must have written it, but it still pulls you in and makes you want to know what happens next. Maybe it’s just me, but I certainly hope not. I hope your writing can seem freshly discovered to you even years after you originally wrote it.
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