Back from editing hell

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Gary Wassner, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. Gary Wassner

    Gary Wassner GemQuest

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    I just finished my final edit of book IV. I haven't slept in a month. I'm up all night either writing or thinking. Who ever thought a book was done when you write the last page? I rewrote 59 out of 61 chapters, from beginning to end. My editor was ruthless (in a good way), and that was the best thing that ever happened to the book.

    The one thing that I realized though is that I'm never satisfied. I feel great when I finish a chapter and make all the changes, do all the rethinking and end up with something exciting and well written. But then I go back later and I start all over again. The process never ends.

    Thank god for deadlines. Once they come, the book is done.

    My editor's doing the final line edit now.
     
  2. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    Great to hear Gary. I was actually wondering why we haven't seen you round these parts lately.

    Congrats!
     
  3. Gary Wassner

    Gary Wassner GemQuest

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    Thanks Rob. But my words were premature. I'm still in hell.
     
  4. kahnovitch

    kahnovitch Kiss my axe!

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    Back to editing Hell then?

    Can't stand editing either. I spend more time editing than writing and often get stuck in that vicious circle of second guessing everything.

    It's called being a perfectionist Gaz. It's a good sign, but also a terrible affliction sometimes.
     
  5. Gary Wassner

    Gary Wassner GemQuest

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    In this case, I have a great editor so I don't have to second guess myself. Her direction has been right on target. What she does best is rein in my tendencies to say too much. But it also helps to have her line editing and copy editing. You can't do it yourself.
     
  6. Tari

    Tari BoA Manager

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    Nice to see you back luv :) Was wondering why we haven't seen you round for a while. . .

    As far as editting goes. . .lol. A good editor can be the best thing that ever happens to a writer. I cherish my friends who edit for me beyond belief! lol.

    ~ Tari
     
  7. Gary Wassner

    Gary Wassner GemQuest

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    Now I'm truly back. No kidding. I can't do anymore. I submitted the manuscript today in its final form.

    I have to admit now that the process is over, it really made a difference. I'm very proud of this book. It will be out in December to the trade and on the street in April if everything goes according to plan at Windstorm. I'm very anxious to get some reactions to this one.
     
  8. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    You aren't teasing us anymore are you Gary? Can't wait to see that gorgeous Sammelin cover on the book.
     
  9. Gary Wassner

    Gary Wassner GemQuest

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    Not teasing. It's done. Out of my hands. I'll get you an ARC in December, Rob. Or, if you want to read an uncorrected proof....
     
  10. Rob B

    Rob B \m/ BEER \m/ Staff Member

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    I'll wait. Besides, I want to go over the earlier books again;)
     
  11. Gary Wassner

    Gary Wassner GemQuest

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    Windstorm promised me that all the errors in the first three will be corrected simultaneous with the release of IV. I hope.

    I wish I had the benefit earlier of the same editor I worked with on The Revenge. What a difference a good editor makes!!
     
  12. Sean Wright

    Sean Wright New Member

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    Agreed, Gary. Congrats, btw, on what has obviously been a traumatuic, yet rewarding experience.
     
  13. Liondancer

    Liondancer Nerwen Nenmacil

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    Congrats

    That is great to hear Gary! Congrats! I finished my editing months ago, except one line is still bugging me that I will probably go back and change. I think the hardest part for my book has been doing the art work. First it was hay fever season, so I spent two months fighting the dopey feeling. Then it was the unusual BC heat...my hands kept swelling up, the car accident where a steel beam went through the windsheild, bent and came back and hit me in the back on the head...luckly I am thick headed :) So now the summer is coming to an end...three weeks to go and my deadline is coming fast. One of the five pictures are done, and tonight I finished painting three of them...the touch ups come next....that will take hours upon hours to do. After all that comes...finding away to down size the art and my letter to the editor. Then I am back to college once again and pipe dreams are back on the burner once again. Sad part...my big fantsy book only got at least three pages written to it. It will be great to have that seven year project come to a close. For now, I will be happy with those little books and those little dreams.

    So good to hear about your news Gary, and no wonder you've been so quite.

    Take good care

    Jen
     
  14. Gary Wassner

    Gary Wassner GemQuest

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    Thanks Jen.

    I was planning on taking a break from writing for a couple of weeks. I never seem able to do that. It's a compulsion at this point. But I had some reading I wanted to catch up on, and I really thought I'd feel relieved when I finished this last book. But instead, I feel a bit empty. It's hard to explain, but it's like when you wait for so long for a special event, and then it comes it's over in so short a time. I'm looking around trying to figure out what's missing. What's missing is the energy and purpose each morning that keeps me going. Now that the book's done, that purpose has disappeared. I'm not good when I don't have reasons to keep going. This must sound stupid. Sorry. I just get a little depressed each time I finish a book.

    I guess I'll have to start something new very quickly. But I'm already 400 pages into book V and I want to complete the series before I start anything major.

    Maybe I'll write another children's book in between. Those are fulfilling to write, and certainly take less time than a multi-book adult series.

    Forgive me my neuroses.
     
  15. Liondancer

    Liondancer Nerwen Nenmacil

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    The journey begins

    Hi Gary,

    It is normal to feel a big empty void when you finish editing. Each book becomes apart of your life, and you have lived and breathed each moment. I am not sure if that makes sense, but for each word you wrote, every thought, emotion or action you felt, it becomes apart of your book. Therefore, breathing life into it. Writers are emotionally attached too their work, and they place so much apart of themselves into it. When the deed is done, there is emptiness, and we search to fill that gap. It’s like watching your child go to school for the first time. As parents, we feel afraid for them, but also for the first time in five years we have time to do anything we want. Instead of getting to that project we have longed to do but couldn’t, we sit down and stare blankly ahead. That is how it is for me every time I finish a major project. Funny though, I get used to rejection, and in being chastised by college professors that I never get my hopes up anymore. I just keep plugging ahead, never really noticing anything. My brain is too focused on the next assignment, due dates, trying to be a mother and keep the home fires burning. When I won the honorable mention for my artwork this year, the accomplishment was dismissed. I sent out information about the benefit to my professor and he wrote back and congratulated me for getting the highest award. I never realized this. The excitement is not reaping the profit or the recognition; it’s the process and the journey. After the journey has become full circle, your standing there thinking, “Now What?” There is just that empty space, and the excitement has died down to silence….unbearable silence.
    As for my huge book, I can still remember the day I began writing it. I had all this energy built up inside of me. Seven years later, as I unroll the maps, and look at all the characters I have drawn, the excitement still overwhelms me. One of the kids from my drawing class, and my fiction writing professor told me that it is movie material. I know it is. Why then does it take me so long to get back to the ever changing Empire of Katara? Sometimes I think that I need more life experience to write it, sometimes I think it’s because it’s like a fine wine…I want to savour each moment….and yes life does get in the way of writing it. So I write little illustrated children’s books in the meantime, and learn all I can at college. All the while my mind is still taking a dander in the Katara Empire. I think about the society of mermaids and sea gods that reside in that world, wondering what they would think about humans. I don’t think this book will ever come to a close, for even the second one is on my mind even before the first one is finished. That is a writer, that never ending quest that is never truly over even after the editing concludes. I guess the way to look at it is; your journey has only begun.
    Huge Hugs
    Jen
     
  16. Gary Wassner

    Gary Wassner GemQuest

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    Wise words. I feel much the same way.

    It's that longing that hits you when you have those free moments. I never feel that I've accomplished enough, and as soon as I finish something, I need so desperately to begin something else, like a clock is ticking in the background. Will it ever be enough? I suppose not. Complacency is the antithesis of creativity in many respects. I've never been complacent. Must we be troubled in order to be creative?
     
  17. Liondancer

    Liondancer Nerwen Nenmacil

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    Thank-god for these people

    Not too wise, I have just spent too much time looking inward and trying to make sense of this being I am growing to be. I spend 90 percent of my day moving something on my body, for I can never truly stop and do nothing. Even as I fall asleep my toes at the end of the bed are still twitching. I have to be doing something, and if I am not I am ill. I think most of this is my ADHD problem, for I am always on the go. I can’t just sit still and do nothing. My mind is always thinking about the current project and my up and coming project. One of my college professors just gave a lecture for annoying her with a project that she will be giving us when the term begins in September. I am 3 weeks ahead of her. I was told to go back to my garden and watch my squash grow. There is also that artist in me, for they all say that artists are a bit crazy….we are to sensitive and too aware of our environment…yada…yada. My teachers tell me that I am one of their most unusual students, for my assignments are all done on time and with room to spare. I am the type of student that gets out a week or two early for summer vacation. I am driven past the point of reason. I sit up at night fearing that I won’t finish a project, or worrying about the next. When all is said and done, sleep comes and I sleep long and hard. There are several reasons for my driven personality, and the search for that next goal, for I can analyse it all with great in-depth. There is a reasonable explanation for all. One is my fear of being a failure, so I work harder to prove myself…this is caused by years of being called a failure by my own father. Yet, place that all aside, stop analysing and it all comes down to the journey and simple ness. There is a time to sleep, a time to play, to work and to sit still. Even when you’re still and listening to the ticking clock, your mind is working out things and readying you for your next journey. It’s not being troubled, it’s who you are. The surfer is always looking for that bigger and better wave…he is the thrill seeker living his life on every turn of the oceans hand. Yet here we are, writers and artists…we are the expressionists of the millennium for are we not the next C.S Lewis and the Pablo Pasco’s? People look upon them now as geniuses, and admire their work. Yet imagine what people thought of their work when it first came out. Think of how obsessed J.R Tolkien must have been to make up not only a different world but also a different language. Thank-god for these people really, for they taught us imagination, and how to see beyond what is right in front of us. I don’t know about you, but its people like them and like you that make the world a better place and a far more interesting place to be. Troubled…blah

    Jen...sleeping on her computer keys