Working on my writing last week—the upcoming Book 2 in the Lost Xentu series, A Far Cry—I experienced that rush of making small adjustments that bring out the power of the story. In one of those moments, I recalled the night before, wondering—briefly, always briefly—why I work so hard on writing? (I have to admit, as I consider joining Indies United, and also embarking on my summer project of rerecording most of the chapters of Braided Dimensions to make the sound really clean, while editing my original manuscript, those questions are coming up a bit more than usual. lol). Why do I do it? Do I want to always have writing taking such a big place in my life? The answer is always resoundingly “I have no desire to stop.” I think these zinging moments, when small line changes really work, or when I move back over a first draft and find magical surprises, as though my soul or some otherworldly source powers my hand at times, are what power my response that there’s no way I want to stop. At least in part.
Another encompassing reason is that it never stays merely writing. Like my references to weaving and webs in my first series, writing has woven itself into my life. When I’m not whining about having to listen to my own voice reading my chapters, in order to do lines over because there’s a noise in the background, I’m feeling the many engaging complexities writing represents in my life: what blogging has turned into for me, and the writing communities I belong to, what I’m learning from enacting my work (recording) and weekly live chats with writers.
With editing, after one has carved out the first draft, one may discover—has to, had better!—the underlying emotions sometimes, if they didn’t reveal themselves on the first round. When that happens—when tweaking brings out the emotional story—I sometimes experience a burst of excitement. Now I feel an interchange with the reader, in the awareness that they will experience the character’s life in those moments. With a few additional words—or removal of them—I’ve found the movement of thought and feeling. Really the power in the story. It could as well be a piece of pottery taking shape. Or a collage where one more piece suddenly brings contrast, lines, and colors into meaning.
I don’t always recall these details when I doubt or flag in my energy. But they’re there, making up my psychic landscape, the writer part of me.