Editing: Nearing the End

I have only two chapters (one and a half really) and an epilogue to go and I have finished this round of editing, of not just this story, but the entire trilogy, which has taken me, for one reason or another, the best part of a year to complete.

I printed out the last chapters to read and edit in bed, and it must have been good, because I forgot to edit and just kept reading.  It is a while since I last read the ending, so I was surprised just how good it was (if I may say so myself!). 

Even though this is only the second time around, and there will be a third time, I have found that this time it hasn’t been quite so hard, even if I have been more critical of my own work.  The first edit was a beginners effort, and making it all the way to the third installment, I have realised just how amateurish it was.  This time the editing has been much more critical and more effective.  And having a couple of readers who have provided constructive criticism along the way has been of huge benefit.

I have also found that by critiquing other peoples work has made me more critical of my own, and I can see more clearly the failings in my own efforts.  Having the ability to look at someone elses work, then using that same eye to assess your own has taken some time to develop.  It is something that can only improve my own work and build on the base I have already created. 

Do I feel sad that another editing round has finished?  No actually, I am feeling rather excited because now I have clear ideas of what I really want in the story, and how I want the story to read, and also, because I plan on turning my trilogy into a single book, I have that to look forward to as well.  Yes, it means more editing, and perhaps some condensing and serious word cutting may be required, but after my big edit this time, I am not afraid to chop large clumps of redundant text!  So next year, onwards and upwards!

My goal this week is to actually finish the book, I have a couple of paragraphs left to go in Chapter 16, then the last chapter and the epilogue.  A big ask considering I start raspberry picking tomorrow for half a day, and school has now finished for the year.  I will try for Friday though.

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Where has this Year gone?

It is December, Christmas is a matter of a week or two away.  A week later a new year begins. Where did this one go?

I started editing the Chrystias Trilogy at the beginning of the year, in truth, I actually started well before the beginning of this year.  My intention was to have the story finished and out to editors by the middle of the year. So what happened?

Well, it wasn’t really any major outside influences, but I still had some interruptions throughout the year (including a son who is currently in the same room as me, singing silly songs and refusing to go into the lounge and leave me alone!!!), that have really thrown a spanner into the works.

The first one was probably my illness, I got quite sick in February and spent a lot of time with little or no energy. It wasn’t a life threatening illness but it slowed me down.  I still have to be careful what I eat and tiredness is really dogging me, a hangover from my earlier sickness.

I also had work to contend with also.  Not that it was busy, but I have reports to write that take up some of my time.

On top of that, we moved house in October, which we are still trying to settle into.

While none of these are really big things that would upset the apple cart, I am not a person for change, and I have found that I have had to spend some time adapting to the new environments / conditions.  As a result, my writing has taken a back seat, though in saying that, I did successfully write a story for SoCNoC this year, and that is the next one to be edited.

But for now, my goal is to get as much done on this round of editing on Chrystias, condense it down to one story early next year, and get it highly polished and shiny enough to attract national (international?) attention to get published. Then I will write another story (probably during SoCNoC 2010) and start editing on the 2009 SoCNoC effort. That should get me through to this time next year.

Hopefully I accomplished this, and working on my fourth novel!

Speculative Fiction – What does it mean to me?

Avatar CatherineI have been writing now, steadily for over a year.  Before that, it was spasmodic to say the least.  Most of what I have written has not fallen within the realm of mainstream genre.  As I have said before, I use writing as escapism, it is a chance for me to get out of the mundane life.  As a result, writing has opened up a whole new world of excitement.  I can’t wait every morning to get up and start typing.  Which is all well and good if I have a new project on the go.  Otherwise I am editing, which is something I would happily forgo.  I am not generally known as a finisher, but for once in my life, I am determined to get something completed.  I am currently editing my first book, a fantasy trilogy, to as close to a perfect state before moving onto my next project (unfortunately that too is editing a novel I finished this year…)

But that doesn’t really tell you what Speculative Fiction means to me – other than my motivation for getting out of bed most mornings… which makes me sound extremely sad individual who has to escape to another world in order to cope with life.  If that is what you think of me, fine.  You are entitled to your opinion.  Those who know me, know me well, those who don’t can go to hell!

Writing Speculative Fiction gives me an opportunity to explore other worlds, other cultures, magic and how it works.  Writing also gives me the ability to break down any unresolved conflict I have had in my life.  It has been useful for helping me to see where I have gone wrong, or to even explain someone elses behaviour and explain dysfunctional relationships.

Speculative Fiction gives me a chance to be descriptive, I love wordy descriptive pieces that explain the smell of the dew on the grass, the coolness of the forest floor, the light of the sunrise on a coastal beach, the colours, the sights, the sounds, the smell, the taste, the looks, everything there is to know about somewhere that has been untouched by human.

I have notebooks full of ideas, including a NZ steampunk novel, a vampyre novel, and a whole new type of creature of my own invention… watch this space.

OK, now I am starting to ramble, but I think you are starting to appreciate the passion that I have for my craft.  I am a writer, of Speculative Fiction, and one day I want to be published in NZ and have a large NZ (and possibly overseas) readership.

The first step?  Blogging about my passion.