After spending some time trying to re-read and line-by-line edit my book on Kindle (read some, highlight, color depending on whether I need to rephrase, nix, or otherwise give notes, hope I eventually open the book again in Scrivener to actually follow through on these notes, repeat every lunch hour of every day), I am learning to follow the advice of the pros instead.
Many people, from Stephen King to Neil Gaiman, have said the best way to go about editing is to put your book away in a drawer until you forget about it and work on something else in the meantime. It’s been so long since I started the book that I thought maybe I had forgotten most of the earlier parts by now. Instead, I’ve just run into the grueling process of reading a story where I already know exactly what happens at every point and have to somehow make it better. So, I’ve let The Sky Thief sit on my tablet for a while, unopened, while I read other books and get to work on a new project.
I’ve decided to write a fairy tale, which is a great distraction and change of pace. It’s nothing terribly new or anything, and the writing is certainly not the most advanced thing in the library. However, that’s sort of the point. I like having the ability to write a short story fairy tale with simple, childish language after having completed the marathon of an adventure fantasy novel that required a lot of planning, plotting, and retooling.
It’s been awhile since I’ve read a children’s book. Coraline is probably the only Gaiman book I haven’t read yet, and it’s ironically the one I need to be looking at the most for this project. I’m also looking at some classics like Alice in Wonderland and so forth (cliche, I know) just to see how the Hell you write a children’s novel and find that balance of interesting story without using obtuse language. We’ll see how it goes. It’s going to be fun, and maybe I’ll post a bit here and there when I can. I don’t imagine it going over 30,000 words, if it even reaches close to that point, so it may or may not end up either self-published for $1 or go into a collection somewhere.
In other (real-life) news, we’re gearing up for our Country exhibit at work. Had a wonderful party last night with a private concert from Lyle Lovett. Saw Jaimie Lee Curtis, Ted Danson, and a few others roaming around. I don’t make a great deal of money at my job, but it’s nice to be able to taste a little bit of what success can bring if we work hard at it, and it’s really motivated me to keep writing and reach that point.
Also, I’m reading Gone Girl between excursions into Scrivener. The film was shot primarily in my hometown in tiny-ass Missouri, so I figured I’d give it a look. Fantastic book so far. Almost to Act 3, and I don’t want to spoil anything, but you’re in for a Hell of a ride if you decide to pick it up. Highly recommended.