Writing is hard. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Writing isn’t just telling a good story. It’s telling a good, seamless story within word count, that sounds professional, with good character development, ample adjectives, and of course with impeccable grammar.
I’m slogging through round three of my urban fantasy pulp novella, and I’m currently in the “wading through cement stage.” At least, that’s what it feels like. It’s a pulp story, so I’m editing pages of unending action, and action scenes are so difficult. I have to describe all the blows, running, fights, and the pain from all of the above in short, sweet bursts that don’t get redundant and still convey a mental image. How many different ways can you say a guy’s legs are aching from sprinting before you bore the audience?
Hard, yes, but what really kills the writing session is finding out that you’ve forgotten an important detail in a prior scene that you need to add in. And trust me, those kind of changes are never easy.
Tonight, I discovered two separate problems. 1) My hero, Michael Lodestone, wears a jacket lined with a loose form of iron chain mail to protect himself from magical spells sent in his direction. (Yes, it’s heavy. He’s strong. It will work. Lay off.) In my story, he gets hit in the chest with a spell, and it drops him. Obviously, this is a problem because he’s wearing an anti-magic jacket that covers his chest. Basically, I’m going to have to go back into the very first scene and either have him take off his jacket (which would be out of character), open his jacket (again get out of character), or have him get hit in the head or legs. Or I will have to make up something that explains how the spell made it through the jacket.
I decided to leave that problem for a future writing session.
More important is 2) Michael is chasing a van, and the van manages to escape. In my draft I came upon a not telling myself that somehow Michael needs to catch up to the van (which is never easy) and slap a GPS tracker thingy somewhere on the van. (I also need to figure out the real name of the GPS tracker thingy.) If Michael doesn’t get the thingy on the van, I don’t have a story. I literally had to comb through the van chase scene to find a spot where Michael could get close enough to attach said thingy. The I had to rewrite parts after that to explain why he was no longer panicking over losing the van.
I’m sharing this to encourage those of you working on your own stories who might feel like giving in. These types of things happen to writers all the time, and they are perfectly normal. Writing is hard, and that’s okay. Editing really is like wading through cement. Don’t give in! Keep writing, even if you have to spend the rest of your evening redoing a scene so your hero can slap a GPS tracker thingy on a van.
Anyone else have a fun editing story?