Oh, hell, never mind. The Painted Queen is now completed *resists happy dance*. For anyone who has ever completed a WIP (and if you haven't, keep truckin' and it'll happen), the high you get is pretty much indescribable. Proud? oh yes.
For a long time I was a serial starter. Either through faulty design (erm. plotholes) or waning interest (A.D.D.), things just never seemed to get done. And they never will unless you MAKE THAT MANUSCRIPT
And now I'm at the 'later' point.
Now, lovelies, it is time to edit this 90k monstrosity. It's not going to be pretty. I bow to those who can manage a publishable first draft. Mine looks nothing like that. Potential, yes. Publishable--nowhere close.
Hopped up on copious amounts of caffeine, my editing session (cliff notes version) goes something like this:
YAY HAPPY HAPPY YAY! WOOHOOO! WAIT, WHAT? OH HELL. WHO ARE YOU? WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH MY WRITING. WTF. IDK. OMG. IHML. DAMMIT. CRAP. JUNK. MESS. x2.
Yep, editing is where the money* is made. It's what separates the joyous premature queriers or submitters from people who are trying to do This Writing Gig** for the realz. If I were to start querying this thing now, it wouldn't be pretty. I'd just be setting myself up for some serious Rejection Pie. This is because THE FIRST DRAFT IS ALLOWED TO SUCK AND OFTEN DOES. It bears repeating: The first draft is allowed to suck. What's not (shouldn't be) allowed is submitting it before it's ready. That's like going out without your pants. You are either Lindsay Lohan or not ready. It's one or the other. Probably the latter.
To mention that often used metaphor--the first draft is like a lump of clay. It may not be beautiful, but maybe it's close to the right color or texture. It likely needs some adjustments, some added bits here and there, some trimming for clarity. You can probably see some of the seams in this lump of clay. Smooth those out. Work with it. Be pliable enough to listen to advice. Implement the good advice. You'll be amazed with the results.
That willingness to work through the suck, to keep trying no matter how people point and laugh, is what separates the I-AMs from the wannabes. It's the difference between being successful and being a whiner. (And nobody likes a whiner.)
And, oh goodness, this draft is full of suckage. (Not that kind, you silly perv). The first editing sweep for me is something akin to a controlled burn--I try to identify major problems and kill them with fire. Kill the adverbs with fire. Scene that doesn't contribute? Dead. Strange chunk of writing that is probably aliens trying to communicate with me because I don't remember writing it? Ashes.
Then I generally move on to more annoying things.
For instance. Some of my thoughts during this editing sweep go as follows:
Oh man. Messed that up. *inserts quick fix*
Whoops. Stupid spell check. *laughs*
Whoa. *sinking feeling*
Hey, MMC, why are you so bipolar? You were just happy and Sexy. Now you're brooding. Still Sexy though. I guess that's a win.
A six-year-old could write better dialogue than this. Srsly.
Villain: Why don't you laugh evilly already are you kidding me this is ridiculous.
I'm pretty sure that is a physical impossibility. *doublechecks* OH YEAH. NOT HAPPENING.
*Snorts in derision* REALLY?
FMC: You're acting like a moron. And I'm pretty sure that's all your fault.
OH, HAI, PLOTHOLE THE SIZE OF TEXAS. Didn't see you there.
*Sees Wednesday the EvilMonsterCat has walked across keyboard, deleted a whole chapter and replaced it with ‘weov,asdoiethasdvp34098* *Drinks more coffee* *Thinks hard.*
*Decides that's probably an improvement*
What? Who are you?? I KNOW I DIDN'T WRITE YOU HERE.
FML. (Realizes a character got left behind in chapter 7, never to be seen again. #toomanycharacters and #probablynotthatimportant)
YOUR EYES CHANGE COLORS SIX TIMES OMG ARE YOU A CHAMELEON?
WHERE DID YOU EVEN COME FROM.
WHAT AM I DOING??
Before finally: IDK WTH IS GOING ON HERE FML I NEED A DRINK.
But then, when it seems all is lost, I find that one scene and think, hey, not so bad, Lee. Not so bad.
*Enjoys that for a moment. Then goes to make the other 50 chapters not so bad.*
*In this case, I’m not even talking monopoly money. One day.
**The Writing Gig means different things to everyone, but to me it means procuring actual real agentperson and editor.
Currently listening to: Prepare For Battle--Jerry Goldsmith and The National Philharmonic Orchestra of London and Sportscenter on the TV.