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!