Thursday, March 16, 2017

Day 16 - Editing

On top of working on my book for the agent I met at the conference back in January during this forty day challenge I am also doing my best to edit and revise my book Breathe. Both goals have their difficult aspects. The book I am drafting has more to focus on yet somehow those things seem like less of an obstacle to completion than the two parts I have left for Breathe.

My dealer book is in the process of being drafted and it is the first book I am cowriting. With that comes the inherent challenges of working with someone who has different work patterns and styles than you do. They may have different ideas of how to write the book and marketing plans. In my case my partner has not completed a book as of yet and struggles with staying focused when it comes to writing. He is passionate and has a wealth of knowledge but because we work differently it is difficult for us to spend time together and make the book work.

Along with finding a way to blend our styles as authors we are also working toward a deadline. No matter how much we accomplish it seems as though that finish line approaches faster and faster everyday. The deadline is mine and while he has agreed to write the book with me it is still ultimately my responsibility. This puts an added amount of pressure on me and I have to be able to balance that with productivity.

When it comes to Breathe I need to edit and rewrite. The book has already been written, even edited and revised a couple of times. In theory this should by far be the easier of my two projects to complete. In reality I struggle far more with editing and rewriting than with the initial draft of any book. I am terrible with grammar which can cause a tremendous amount of trouble when editing. There is also the fact that when you read your own work your brain knows what you meant to write so it can skip over typos, words that have been switched or other smaller editing issues.

Breathe has been a book I have loathed for years. I could never give up on it because it was a complete story and deep down I believed there was something worthwhile hidden among the pages. No matter what I did to toy with the plot though I couldn't figure out what was wrong. I had no idea why I hated it so much. Just recently I was driving when a realization struck me. Kelsey, the main character in Breathe, had completely abandoned her motivation and real personality at the drop of a hat.

She started as a character with a deep need to escape the monotony of her life and had even developed a plan, illegal though it may be, to accomplish her goals. However a few chapters later when a wrench is thrown in the plans she comes to a crisis of faith in herself and what she is doing. She never even struggles with her decision to change direction though. She forgets entirely about her escape plan and becomes a needy, romance seeking girly girl. The character is not real, people in real life would never behave that way. I need to give her back to herself and let her do what she always wanted to do. She may still end up being a good person that grows a consccience and tries to fix her past mistakes but she starts out with an edge and I would like to give her the chance to keep that motivation and personality. It is going to be difficult because editing has always been the most frustrating part of the writing process for me.

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