Editful World

As of today, the first three chapters of Mabel's City are in their second draft. I'm very excited. I'm an incredibly slow editor.

My first response to editing is to spend weeks wishing someone else would do it.

Most of my writing training comes from screenwriting, where content is king and writing style is secondary, and groups will tear into content and develop a consensus on what is best story-wise for the project.

In novels, there is an "artist" and a concept of a pure "vision" as executed by the artist, which means that content editing is more in the writer's hands. It's more lonely work.

My first three chapters will be tossed in my "editor's" lap this evening after lots of staring at a computer screen, frowning, rewriting, drafting. If they pass, I'll keep editing and building secondary storylines. If not, I'll revert to the first draft style, which is almost entirely an A storyline β€” Mabel's storyline.

None of this probably makes any sense to anyone but me, but it's kind of important to not that this weekend marked a crucial turning point in how this series is structured. Do we turn away from Mabel to watch Lawrence, Iji, and Montiere? Does this method work?

Multiple storylines are more complicated. They ask more of a reader, and they require the writer to establish character and setting much more quickly. But I love them. I love setting scenes against each other that foil and spark, even when the characters aren't interacting because thematically they can be touching each other. Complex vs. Simple.

As much as I love thinking thematically, themes are less important than being clear, concise, and entertaining. Thus the current editing dilemma. As the author and architect of the story, I understand, for the most part anyway, what is going on because I've built the story in my mind before writing it. But I don't know how it translates to a reader.

And then there's this panic that if I cut something on my own, without an outside opinion, that it'll backfire and everything will go wrong.

Characters do crap like that when you don't edit properly.

I might not be awesome enough to pull off an ambitious three-part storyline while building a fantasy world. I'm not that great of a writer. I'm only twenty-two, so that's fine.

I'll post the editing consensus results Sunday night. This'll actually affect what book you end up reading.