I did it! The first draft of Empire is done!
I printed up the first four chapters first to start editing them, and I am already extremely happy with the improvements being made. Part of me regrets even sharing what parts I did now. The book will truly be ten times better by the time I have it buffed and shined. Another part of me wants to leave it up for my students to see in the future.
I’m sure some writers craft works very close to perfection on the first go. Most aren’t that lucky. We have to work and toil and then work some more to get something that is actually fun to read.
Sure, I have a story that has three full acts, a conflict, rising action, and a resolution. That bit wasn’t easy to get, but just having that does not make it a book.
What happens now is the perfecting of what I have. I have to ask myself; do I really need Paul to be in a band? Sure, I like what I have about that, but it adds space to a book that’s already long enough and doesn’t really come back at all other than in the beginning. Cutting that part will be a hard edit. Maybe it’s an edit that won’t happen, but I’m going to think about it long and hard before I make a call either way.
I wrote a post last week about how I dreaded the editing process. Now that it’s here, I’m finding out that I love it.
Editing is easy to try to pass over. Most people’s natural compulsion is to simply be done with something after they have written it. Sure, they may give it a cursory look-through for misspelled words and grammatical mistakes. But, doing this doesn’t do anyone any favors. You have to be willing to make the deep cuts; the ones that bleed. You have to have new eyes for your story. Is it hitting all the marks it needs to? Is the logic of what the characters are doing true to what their character is and does what they do make sense in a way that it won’t drive your readers crazy?
That’s where I am now, sitting with my scalpel and getting ready to slice. And I’ve got a big ol’ grin on my face to be here. 🙂
PS- Here is a small look at the newest version of the cover.