Tuesday, 16 July 2013

The Editing Process

I believe blogging is what writers do now a days. We used to write letters, intimately sealed, not intended for the public eye. Now everything has to be out and visible.

Since I am approaching the final stages of editing my novel, I should call it by its name now, The Lightning Tree, I should be documenting the struggle and keeping you all entertained... It's a cliche now to compare a novel to a baby, to say it is born from us. I am starting to wonder if it is less like a baby and more like a dark secret. Well that sounds melodramatic. All I mean to say is, if I am at a party or just having dinner with some friends, someone is likely to pipe up with a 'And what's your book about?' It's a reasonable question. After all it's no different from asking someone what they do at their work or what they study at university. Yet, a feeling of dread begins to wash over me as I attempt to answer the question. I tend to tailor the answer to the person asking it, and that is the problem. I'm less worried to divulge this key information to close family and friends you understand. It is the skeptical stranger which worries me, the inquisitive twitch of the eyebrow, curl of the lip. Those inevitable questions. Do I want to be the next J.K Rowling? Do I want to write the next 50 Shades of Gray?

So these past few days I have been editing, a grueling process, but a necessary one. I hope to send The Lightning Tree off to three agents by the end of the week. It's a push for time but I am feeling pleased with what I have, the writing on the page explains itself far better than I ever can.

I must say thank you to a few people who have helped me through my writing process. Firstly a massive thanks to my partner, Richard, who brought in the bread and kept me calm when I was writing in Vancouver. The writers' group there also helped me heaps - those debates on sexuality really kept me going.  I'm so grateful to everyone who proof-read for me, Sheila Gray, Laura Thubron, Emma-Louise Carroll. Thanks to the many more who have offered to proof for me, I may still take you up on it! I'm indebted to my friends for their support and my family too. There is still much to be done but I am so delighted to have come this far.