Today is a very special day for me. Forget 12/12/12.
One year ago today, I started my story that has now turned into a behemoth. It still isn’t done. I probably have a couple more months of writing before that happens. And, as I’ve been reading through it lately and having Raine and my husband read, too, I’ve realized that it might take another year of editing after that to get it the way I want it. In some places it rambles. In others the dialogue is odd. I repeat myself a lot. And then there’s this giant chunk in part 3 that seems to meander from the plot and go nowhere for a while, and I have no idea how to fix it. When my test readers get there, I’m sure they’ll have some ideas 🙂
Then there’s the simple fact that I need to do more research. Check up on my facts. My facts are related to place and culture, and the only way I can satisfactorily gather information would be to go back to Alaska. I went last summer, and just being there for 3 days cleared up a lot of questions.
But I have more. My husband and I were going to go back to Alaska this summer. It was all planned. We had a detailed 3-week-long trip planned out, from how many days we would spend on the road getting to Seattle, to how many days we’d be on the Marine Highway, to how many days we’d stay in Juneau, Ketchikan, and Skagway. If we’d visit Sitka and Haines and some of the other towns along the way or not. We had planned to fly from Juneau to Anchorage so I could go to some of the museums there. That would be the best place for my research.
It was all planned, and then alas…. reality took over. It informed us that we didn’t have enough money for a trip to Alaska, especially since we’re moving to a house in September and need to save all the dough we can. We can probably go next summer, or even this winter, but I’m sad to have to delay the trip. Partly because, if we go next winter, I’m already to year 2 working on this thing. But I guess that’s okay since I like working on it, right?
For now, I’ve decided to turn to the next best thing. The only place I can really go to get information since I can’t go to Alaska. Books. The libraries in my town are sadly lacking in the information I need. I’m checking Barnes and Noble today or tomorrow to see if I can find anything useful there. If not, I’ll have to buy some stuff online. There are a lot of good books on my topic out there, but they just aren’t very popular, I guess. They don’t make it into libraries this far away from Alaska. It’s a shame. If I wanted to write about medical marijuana or sustainable living, I’d be set.
Anyway… as I reread my story, I’m getting a little discouraged. There’s a lot to fix, and every time I read through it I find more. But I’ve decided to look on that as a good thing. I’m not satisfied with it. I can do better. It’s a good challenge, especially since editing something this massive will be particularly difficult.
Having my people read helps so much. They see things I don’t. Since we had our reading party on Sunday and they pointed a few things out, I’m noticing some habits in my writing that really stand out and result in my narratives sounding redundant. Me, redundant? No way, right?
Sadly, yes. I ramble. On and on. I do it when I talk, and now I know that I do it when I write, too. I just need to keep reminding myself that it’s all positive, and that it will make me better.
It’s also encouraging to know that, for this coming week, we all decided to read through chapter 6 of part 1, and that Raine read that, then couldn’t stop, and is now somewhere in the bowels of part 2. At least the story is interesting 🙂
Happy one year, Behemoth. One of these days, I’ll give you a proper name.