Revising a story is much like putting a puzzle together. I've got all the pieces, I just have to get them in the right order-Lisa
I'm not sure if that's true for everyone when they write, but it is for me with the particular story I'm working on now. It is my first horror/sci-fi story I've written and it's been challenging, fun, and interesting. I've been writing professionally for a number of years and the thing I dislike most about the writing process is the editing and revising part. That is until I recently discovered something- the above statement from me-which came to me while I've been working on rewrites and edits for my new story, The Mystic Mist;Book One in the New Breed series. Yes, I know, there are those of you out there that have already discovered this profound thought regarding revisions and edits, but hey, some of us aren't as far along as those of you who have reached the prize; that is to say to those of you who think you are at the top of your game and don't have anything else to learn. So, this particular post is for those of you who are still in my boat-still willing to admit that we still have a lot to learn-no matter how long we've been in this field. So with that said, shall we get started?
I began to write this story, Mystic Mist as a single book. One book was all that I had planned to do. It was going to be about unearthly vampires attacking earth and causing all kinds of hell. Then, the characters began to speak to me. In my original story, the main character was going to be Erich, the young earthling who would encounter these beasts in some New England woods while attending college. I wrote an entire ten chapters on Erich and his adventure, but then as I begun the eleventh chapter, it was as if Erich whispered to me, "I don't want to be alone in these woods."
So, I created the lead female, Iseabail. And I wrote another ten chapters...And then Iseabail whispered to me, "What of my history on Carasylia?"
And Erich chimed in, "Yes, and what of my history?"
Well, I must say that was where the fun began! Their histories began to jump out at me as if they had already lived them! Yes, I know it sounds insane, but hey,if you're a writer then you understand me I'm sure-and if you're a reader; well, think of all the wonderful adventure stories you've read. The stories wouldn't be nearly as exciting if those writers and authors didn't allow their characters to 'speak' to them.
So, back to the story. I completed the story of Iseabail and Erich, but it just wasn't complete. As I stared at the story, thinking it was good. And believe me, it is a good story,(Coming from an unbiased author of course:)) but it needed more. I kept getting the thought, "There is so much more to this story". I took a deep breath, walked away from it for about six months and then came back and oh boy, am I glad that I did just that!
I've now finished Book One. The words came out of my mind faster than my fingers could move! And now the 'good' story is a 'better' story. I was so proud of myself! (patting self on back)But...As I re-read the story, some of it seemed to be out of sequence so I decided to just go with my thought and began 'rearranging the sequence of events'. As I did this, that's when it hit me, telling a story really is like putting together a puzzle-you have to find all the pieces of the story and fit them into their rightful places!" Wow! Light bulb moment! ;) If I look at it like that then perhaps the editing/revising process won't be so painful or ignored. And guess what; it worked for me! I'm not finished by any stretch of the imagination with this story, but I am getting there! And I am so happy now to realize that revising doesn't have to be an arduous task. Dare I even say that it is actually 'fun', 'interesting', and a valuable learning experience that will help me to grow even more with each new piece that I revise and edit. And besides, I've always loved putting puzzles together.
I'm still working on my puzzle, but I think I'll know when I'm done with it. And then it will go to the Beta Readers, the real editor(s), and then to the real, real people that matter-you the reader. And I hope when you get Mystic Mist: Book One in your hands, you'll love Erich, Iseabail, Stevlana, and Lorna every bit as much as I do!
Good luck to all my fellow writers out there-be you a screenplay writer or an author; I wish each and everyone of you the best of luck in your writing careers! Until next time~Lisa