I have begun the process of adding to, revising, and editing this past year’s NaNo project. It’s fictionalized memoir – and no, you mayn’t read it yet. It needs a lot of editing before it ever sees the light of day. Though I do hope, someday, to get this into a finished enough state to be worth publishing. Or self-publishing, at least. I would like this to be read, one day. It may take me a very long time…but I think that is okay. I’ve got my whole life ahead of me, after all.
I do feel as though I need an objective reader, who has no ties (emotional or otherwise) to the story to read the manuscript and help me edit it, though. I find myself staring at what I wrote in November and wondering which bits of it are important, which are unnecessary detail, and which could be made shorter or longer. Which characters to cut out, which to combine into a composite character, which to give a bigger or smaller part in the tale. Since the story is told in first-person present tense, I am struggling to find a way of introducing certain places and characters without going off on a long monologue. Telling it, rather than showing it. It’s a bit tricky, though I suppose I will figure it out somehow. I also feel like the story lacks, in most places, all vestiges of my writing voice. It sounds bland and simple to me – like words just dropped onto the page and strung together in the easiest way, not like something that came from my own heart. I have noticed that seems to happen whenever I sit down to write something longer than a blog post. My voice just runs away, and I’m left with empty words with no feeling or light. Alas. I’ve tried to do something about that as I edit, but it is incredibly slow going, as you can imagine, and more than a little discouraging. I’ve not been very successful at all. I have my work cut out for me, I guess.
If anyone has any wisdom to offer on editing (and adding to) a manuscript, I would certainly love to hear it.