I was very happy to see the end of last year. Mainly because it meant that I could get back on with writing The Artov War. (I always feel weird and pretentious when i mention that I’m writing a novel. I feel weird even calling it a novel. In my head it’s a book, even thought it isn’t technically a book yet.) Following advice from people who seem to know what they are talking about (people on facebook who have read interviews with writers or have written a novel themselves) I put away my fifty nine thousand words and tried to forget about it so that I could come back to it fresh when I started the process of editing. January came around and I pretty much immediately started reading and rewriting as soon as I could.
I was expecting there to be much more in the way of honing and sharpening and just generally shaping the story. The last three days have actually consisted mostly of me adding chunks in. I really didn’t expect that. In my head the story was done. But when I looked back and read over what I had written in November I found that it wasn’t so much that I was changing words and rewriting phrases, but rather I was coming up with entirely new sections. One of them is just a funny scene that I casually mentioned a bit later. I went back and expanded upon the throwaway sentence and made something that I think adds a lot to the characters. I don’t think I would have come up with it two months ago but I know that I would have wished I’d written it if i’d just decided to send it off as is. That would have been a silly idea anyway, so there was no danger of that.
More than anything i’m surprised at just how much I’m enjoying being back into the process of writing every day. I could have started something new in december, but my head just wasn’t interested in new ideas. I wanted to be back finishing off Art’s story. So I specifically had to distract myself so that I wouldn’t cheat. But it was in service of creating something that I would be ultimately happy with. Now i’m back in it I remember why I loved it so much.
I’ve actually found a couple of half finished stories that I tried to put work into during december. They’re both sort of similar and might be something that i’d like to work on in the future, but they just weren’t doing it for me when I wanted to write. I think that partly it’s just because the story I am working on is the work I want to be doing. With stories or scripts or performance work I’ve done in the past i’ve got to a point where I’ve got the idea out and that’s enough. I get bored when it’s time to rewrite and so I just give up. But with Art and Karen and Will I feel as though there is a lot more that needs to be said. Somewhere in my head they exist now, and their story is really fucking interesting to me and I don’t think i’ve quite got there with it yet. I don’t know if I will ever feel as though I’ve got it perfect but part of knowing how to create is knowing when to stop and to just let what you have done speak for itself.
Oh and happy new year and all that.