I have started all over again with my pedantic perfectionist style of scrutinising and making corrections to a book I have already published. I know it’s not the right way to go about editing, but I have not sold enough books for anyone to complain about my back-to-front editing style.
One of the sentences I discovered right at the start of Book Two (of the three part LEARNERS AT LOVE series) I hardly remembered writing. Annabelle says of one of the characters closest to her that he is A FRIEND WHO HELPS HER SEE RAINBOWS IN THE WORST OF STORMS. I liked that!
Anyway…I read the first two paragraphs of Book Two (WHERE IS THIS PLACE THEY CALL “HOME”?) and I had completely forgotten writing them. It brought back to mind the recollection of an afternoon I spent pondering to myself how to start Book Two and how to introduce Annabelle to new readers who may not have read Book One (WE HIDE WHAT WE HATE ABOUT OURSELVES). I asked myself, why should anyone care about her story? The first few pages is my answer to that question really.
I read the first two paragraphs in the first chapter, and I felt so pleased. It really whet my appetite to continue.
If you are sitting next to one of the small cabin windows on the Swiss Airlines flight from Chicago to Zurich, you’ll find your view either obscured by layers of thick white cloud, or on a clear day, miles of grey blue sea stretch out below. From a height of 35,000 feet the ocean below may seem calm and serene. However, a long-distance view can be deceptive. From so far away, we may fail to recognise that raging waves are crashing against each other as an angry wind whips up more turbulence.
How many of the people we pass each day are successful in maintaining a serene composure, whilst hiding raging emotions that surge within them? If we really knew the battles that others faced, the storms brewing in their lives and the secrets they are terrified to share, perhaps we would prefer to keep a safe distance.
I guess what I was trying to say is that so many of the people we pass each day might look ok on the surface, but within them, there may be battles waging and turbulent struggles. Annabelle has been hiding for a long time (as revealed in Book One) and now in Book Two, she is trying to feel more settled. But if you have been following her story you will know her journey is a bumpy one, with some amazing highs and some heartbreaking lows. I still find it very moving to consider her story and analyse her and the other characters in my scrutiny of the book.
Editing is grueling as I have discovered with Book One. You can start to become obsessive about perfect grammar and finding the elusive perfect word, when originally you wrote with feeling and flair as the story consumed you.
I am determined to refine and improve my books before I go crazy with promoting and marketing them. It’s an important process and one that I am trying to give my enthusiastic attention to.