Monday, November 2, 2015

Currently Reading 11/2/15

I don’t have a job; I have an investment made of time, tears, and thoughts.  I don’t have a job, but my work is Work because it will pay me in the long run.

These are the kinds of things I say to people when they ask me if I have a job. When I say it, they often shrug it off like I'm joking, but I'm dead serious. I mean, how is writing a fantasy novel for nearly three years while going to school not work, especially when writing is my desired career path?

I am currently reading my in-progress, not-taken-seriously-as-work novel in the process of editing, which is an arduous task that can either heighten my hopes or drown them out completely. I’ll read one paragraph and think “Wow, that is some solid work, let’s keep that up.” Then, two pages later I’ll read another paragraph that leaves me astonished as to whether I’ve actually been educated beyond kindergarten, and has me contemplating deleting my whole manuscript. But I never do it because I’ll be damned if I write as much as I have, for as long as I have, for no reason.

72,100 words is 72,000 too many to delete.

As you can see, I'm pretty far along, and thus the novel is in constant need of editing. Since 2013 I’ve deleted chapters and characters, moved whole conversations around, elevated my ideas and execution, and caught plot holes like a frog snatching flies out of the air. But still, there's always more to do.
Today I'm reading my fourth chapter. It's a tricky one - one that contains a critical point of the story that establishes the fantastical themes in the book and gives the reader some solid information about the main characters, whose lives have quite a bit of mystery to them. I have to render these characters, the setting, themes of war, innocence, responsibility, connectivity and spirituality with a kind of tact that is well paced and not too revealing.
But today seems to be one of those days where I feel like a kindergartner.

And it's totally because I haven't been following my reading-my-own-work protocol which goes sorta like this:

1. Hey, Renee, don't read old chapters too soon after writing in the newer ones - the difference between your fresh writing/developed characters and your old writing/characters before the drama will mess with you.

2. Don't re-read anything you've already edited within the past week - you're more likely to miss mistakes because you're scanning, and if you're not busy missing everything you still run the risk of feeling like you didn't edit well, and over edit.

3. Relax. Like chill the fuck out - you know how to create a sentence, and that's a good start.

Needless to say I've been doing NONE of that. I violated all my rules; I worked on chapter thirteen a few days ago and went and reread chapter four right afterwards, despite the fact that I had already edited ALL of chapter four the day before, and I most certainly did not relax.

I should learn from this puppy.
This puppy is chilling.
I need to stop taking notes from this puppy.
This puppy is not chilling.

That's it, I'm officially clocking out for the day. I'm gonna close up my laptop shop, commute to my kitchen, and brew some chamomile. Maybe then I'll relax.

I mean, who relaxes during work anyway?

- Renee

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