Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Big cuts and scary times...



Editing. It's a scary thing.

I'm working on my second novel, Welcome to My World, which will be hitting the shops in November this year. It's all written (the fun bit), has undergone its first edit (a structural one - the not as much fun bit) and now, while I'm getting ready to do the line edit (the tedious but necessary, couldn't-be-less-fun-if-it-tried bit), I'm doing a major rework on one of the main characters of the book. Which is downright terrifying...

It needs to happen. This character just wasn't working and it's taken me a couple of months to work out why. Now the penny has dropped, it's time for some serious remodelling!

This bit always terrifies me - not least because I've technically 'finished' the book twice so far with the character complete in his current state. Deleting large sections of text and following all the corresponding threads takes time and nerves of steel, but it will be worth it in the end (repeat after me, Dickinson, 'It will be worth it in the end'...)

I have to admit that I thought writing my second novel would be a lot easier than my first. For most of last year I was like the proverbial rabbit-in-headlights as I went through the various editing, proofing and promoting stages for Fairytale of New York, on quite possibly the steepest learning curve of my life. So I assumed that book 2 would be simpler, less scary and altogether a more relaxed affair.

And then Fairytale went stratospheric...

While I'm confident in the story and characters for Welcome to My World, I'm terrified about my second novel not being good enough for the wonderful people who so kindly bought my first book. I don't want to write the 'disappointing second novel' and, most of all, I don't want to let people down. I was scared witless about my first book, but at least last year there were no expectations as everything was unknown. This year, people are counting on me. And that is both ultimately thrilling and downright scary!

I also know that I'm a perfectionist when it comes to my writing (although, sadly, not when it comes to housework...) so this pressure I'm feeling is completely self-imposed. It's actually a good thing for me to be a little scared - I trained in drama at university and what they say about stage-fright is absolutely true: the time to worry is when you don't feel nervous before you step into the spotlight.

So Mr Previously Unworkable is swiftly being transformed into Mr Believable Three-Dimensional. And I'll try not to think about the impending P-Day in November!

6 comments:

Kim Curran said...

It will be worth it, Dickinson. You're an amazing writer, and this will be a stunning second novel. I (along with some other slightly more important people) believe that this book will be even better than your first. So no pressure then hun ;-)
You couldn't let anyone down – even if they were a blow up doll and you had a suction pump (does that even make sense!?).

Good luck. And I can't wait to read it.

Kxxx

Talli Roland said...

See, I can't even proof my own writing!

OK, take two:

No! Don't tell me it gets scarier! I'm already having slight palpitations about my debut novel and I've barely just signed it!

You're a dedicated and talented writer. We want to read what you write! It will be good stuff, I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Miranda.

I was reading about you today in 'Writing Magazine'.

You've come a long way since the 'cheery little optimist' tentatively posted a few bits on mywriterscircle.com

Keep at it, Lass.

I think I'll post a little comment about you on the circle, and give folks the link to your own site. Some of the 'old hands' will be pleased to hear about you, and some of the new people there will benefit from seeing what can be done if they are willing to work as well as dream.

Best wishes,

Gyppo

Maggie said...

Hi Miranda,

I also saw you in 'Writing Magazine' though am no stranger to your writing as I bought Fairytale.. when it came out. I loved the title, that attracted me first to it, then the cover was great. The contents didn't fail to please, impress either.. and I have made a note in my 'books to buy' notebook, that the next is out in November. Looking forward to an early Christmas present!
Good luck with your writing, you, like several other authors are proof of the fact that dreams can come true!
Maggie

maggie said...

Hello Miranda, and thanks for dropping by my blog. Looked at yours properly and see we share similar tastes in DVDs (Monsters Inc and romantic comedies), music (Josh Groban, Dvorak etc) and books, with similar views about how many is too many. Answer?Not enough! We have over 2500 in our collection between us covering just about every genre in NF and fiction... my husband being the history/archaeology/detective and fantasy fiction nut, me being anything well-written and/or photographically interesting, dipping into books, art, gardening, homestyle and craft books etc. They have taken over the house! People our age are usually down-sizing, we would need to do the opposite if we could afford it!
Best wishes,
Maggie

K J Beeny said...

Hi Miranda,

So glad I was introduced to you by 'Writing Magazine'; was impressed that you still didn't have an agent. I am too not looking for an agent and hope to get published without one. Have read your two short stories and hope to grab a copy of 'Fairytale....'. I love your verve and style.
Hope to get my work seen and will probably follow your tips in W M article.

Sending you love and peace for the future

K J Beeny

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