“To write is human, to edit is divine.”
― Stephen King,
I often fall asleep at night clasping Stephen King to my chest. Well, not Stephen King himself, his book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, which has become the source of many mantras for me.
I’ve even slept with this gripping volume under my pillow in the hope that, one day, his creative brilliance might seep into my brain during the night.
For the rest of us aspiring underlings, writing a novel, whether it is good or bad, is a compulsive and, on the whole, an enjoyable process. The editing process, however, is a nightmare that would make even King’s spine-chilling characters squirm.
King writes 10 pages a day. Great, I can do that … but then he will tell you that
“The first draft of a book — even a long one — should take no more than three months, the length of a season.”
He also believes that if you spend too long on your piece, the story begins to take on an odd foreign feel.
My first draft took twice as long and it did take on a foreign feel because my characters meander through three different countries. OK, I jest, but writing the book was fun, the editing process is hell.
I think I have gone word-blind. When I read drafts to myself, I am reading words that are not there, as well as missing basic howlers.
At this point, I need to thank my long-suffering Alpha readers. You know who you are. What would I do without you?