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Posts Tagged ‘novel editing’

It has been a ‘my-brain-is-on-overdrive’ kind of week. Not one, but four books on three worlds in five different novel sections simultaneously vie for the attention of my mind even as my return to business school has publishing racing through my neurons. If one of my students asked me what to do in a situation like this I would tell them, politely, that it was time to grow up and let all but the most important, most pressing story rest on a dusty shelf. If I have told you something like this, I have new sympathy. But the advice stays the same.

I am determined to capture just enough of each tale to write a few pages of the story and an army of bullet points as to where it is going. Then I am going to let those stories fade away as I return my focus to The Orion Records (both Mark of Orion and its sequel). I am hoping that this method will keep the creativity flowing, while slowly turning it in a more useful direction and preserving the beauty of the untold tales. In the past I have tried to cut out the irrelevant stories from my imagination entirely. This left me with a severe (and, as my deadline approached, rather terrifying) form of writer’s block. To this day, I have been unable to recapture that lost novel.

So this is my new strategy and my repeated advice: when you have more than one story vying for your attention hash out the important details and then force your brain to move on. It is a hard learned skill to know how to hold onto the right novels and let go of those whose turn has not yet come.

(Side note: it can be a very good thing to be plotting novel C while you are drafting novel B while you are editing novel A, but you had best be very careful when you introduce novel B and novel C so you do not overcrowd your brain and explode.)

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Unable to allow my cold to stifle writing forever, I brewed my favorite cup of coffee (saved for special writing occasions only), turned on Pandora, and sat down with my laptop yesterday afternoon. I was surprised by how well the words poured forth. They were not gold, but they were the second-to-last coat of polish that these final chapters require.

I shiver with excitement as I realize how close I am to the end of the novel. Editing well in-hand; printing researched; and we leave in only a few minutes to meet my cover artist to preview the design for Mark of Orion. Can it be?

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