My writing process is messy. And hard work. First get the story down. Sometimes it flows like honey from my brain to the page. Other times it’s like chipping at a block of granite to expose it millimeter by millimeter.
Then comes the endless passes through the manuscript, adding, deleting, changing words struggling to make the characters shine and the story engaging.
And when it’s time, letting go and sending it off to my publisher.
And then, seconds after I hit send on the final version of the manuscript, I see typos and missing words that I didn’t catch in the twenty passes reading and the two passes listening to the whole document. I see sentences and paragraphs that are unnecessary and should have been cut. And, I suddenly have five ideas for things that would strengthen the characters or the story.
This clarity that comes after giving up control is a mystery to me. But it happens every single time.
What about you authors? Is letting go difficult for you?
In addition to publishing multiple mystery and romance short stories in various anthologies, Catherine has authored four romances novels. Her latest book, The Disappearance of Lindy James, was awarded a GOLDIE for Best General Fiction.
Ugh, I always hate rereading because there are things I’ve either missed or would change…you could drive yourself crazy wanting to go back and revise!
I just don’t know who comes and sprinkles all those typos after I have meticulously checked my manuscript and made sure it was perfect!
I think we have the same process, Catherine. Something always sneaks in or out.
Letting go is impossible. I remember back in the day when you had to print out hard copies of your manuscript and mail them to your agent. My agent wanted ten copies, which I sent (and it cost about $50 to do.) Then I looked at it and saw a mistake on the first page, but if you changed it, it altered the pagination. That was a problem.
Your process sounds strangely familiar!