Every writer is different, which is a fact I often think of whenever I talk to my writing partner S.E. Berrow about the process and each other’s progress. For some people, the act of writing is free-flowing, as easy as breathing, but for some it is like pulling teeth. For others, editing is the best part about the writing process – getting to whittle down those words into something streamlined and clean; whereas some might liken it to crawling through a scorching, barren desert without any clothes or water – hard to do, with a reasonable expectation that it might be the last thing you ever do.
For me, the easiest part of writing is the actual writing part. I rarely have trouble putting words to paper (or computer screen) and, if anything, I’m at risk of always writing too much. I get carried away with my stories, often running with tangential plot arcs that I’m later forced to scrap because they don’t add anything to the overarching novel. Writing is what I do. I’m never happier than when working on a new project and, if I remain uninterrupted and inspired, my progress is something to behold.
Now, the creation part is split into several parts: world-building, character building and plot. I’ve mentioned before that I find world-building and plot enjoyable and easy, but character building is something I struggle with and have to strive to improve with every draft.
And yet… after that… comes the hardest part.
If anyone knows me / pays any attention to my ramblings, they will know that the hardest part of the writing process, for me, is editing my work. Editing other people’s work? Absolutely fine. In fact, I make a living from it (non-fiction work) and am working towards making a living from fiction work too.
But editing my own work? I hate it. Loathe it. I feel chained to the computer every time I have to do it and procrastinate like the Dickens. Yet, it has to be done.
Berrow recently reminded me that I have spent nearly two years editing The Elder Throne into its current form. In that time, I have also written most of its sequel, a 50k novella, several short stories and outlined (in detail) twelve other books – of which seven also have a number of fleshed-out scenes prepared. The lengths I’ll go to…
Fortunately, both for her sanity and mine, the finish line for The Elder Throne editing draws near at last. I’m so close, I can taste it, and will be done by the end of May.