Tuesday, April 19, 2011
The Churn: My poor hands, my poor eyes, my etc.
Indeed, I have come somewhat to resemble this fine old lady (pictured). My objective is to create the finest, most delicious butter for the other peasants of the village; a burdensome task, requiring much physical stamina, but one that generates a product of which one can be proud. There is perhaps only one real downside: that what is to become fine cream begins as rancid cow piss.
Which is not to say that editing is particularly difficult; only that residing in the presence of "old stories" can become, you might say, "stinky" after a certain amount of time - beyond the certain tiredness that comes along with reading, writing, deleting, etc.
For me, the challenge is principally a matter of volume. I today finished edits on a 15,000 word novelette, which ended up running to 19,000 words. That is so many words - especially when you're reading them for the second time. I was exhausted by the end of the work; but, afterwards, I somehow also managed to spin out the edits on another 1,500 word short.
That, then, is the trick: to move quickly. And, on the bright side, many of the stories residing presently in my trunk are indeed short - which is precisely the reason I've been able to add nearly ten of them to my "submittable" repertoire. However, with three novels sitting on that there back-burner awaiting edits, I am somewhat anxious as to how difficult perpetuating this task in the direction of the romanesque might in the end prove. Granted, I edited 15,000 words in under a week, and two of my so-called "novels" are only about 45,000 words long - precisely triple the length of the novelette. Therefore, I can expect to edit one such novel in just under a month.
I certainly hope so, though very long fiction tends to tire me. But I've made it an objective to spin one of those novels out: I'm utterly sick of having them just sitting there, instead of sending queries to agents (or, for that matter, e-booking them up myself). The novelette, then, was good practice. This next week, I'll take it easy, working on the yarns that I can do-up in a day or two; then, it's on to the big guns.
Hopefully, I will have the fortitude of my elderly butter-churning compatriot, and be able to lift and squish until the very end of my 45,000 words - which must, I suspect, have some equivalence in gallons. If granny can do it, why not I?