It’s a tough thing to swallow, being a newbie. It doesn’t matter how old I am or how many years I’ve been writing. It doesn’t matter how many half finished novels and unedited books I have stacked up. I am still a newbie. I am still learning my craft.
It is frustrating. I want to know everything now. I want to masterfully edit those three novels gathering dust now. My problem is I haven’t quite figured out how it is done yet. I am still working on finding what works for me. I can read how other people edit. I can attempt to copy them, but the thing is despite all the books on writing advice out there you still have to find your own way. What works for one person may not work for another. At best it gives you a place to start. The first brick in the yellow brick road.
I don’t know how to edit or rewrite. It seems like a simple process. You just fix what is wrong. However, I am beginning to think that “what’s wrong” is how I am writing my books in the first place. The last two (that are worth salvaging) I wrote without stopping. Day after day I would just pick up and go without going back and checking anything. If I got stuck I would leave myself a note on what was supposed to happen and keep going. So at the end I wound up with what was essentially a enormous outline.
The next logical step would be to go back and turn the outline/book-thing into a decent novel. This is where I am having problems. I look at my manuscript and instead of seeing a shiny green Camaro there is a heap of junk, that if assembled right and with some body work and a new paint job probably would look like a car…hopefully even the right type of car.
There are places that I can tell things are just plan wrong. What happens is right, but somehow the way I have written it is wrong. I just can’t quite wrap my brain around how to write it…well, right. It’s like, okay this is a hub cap and a tire they need to go on the wheel and some how attach to the axle…now how do I do that? And aren’t the breaks supposed to attach to the wheel some how too? ( I don’t know why I’ve chosen car analogies…I think I am missing my old Camaro today or something. I really did own a green one.)
These are things I will learn with time and through trial and error. Eventually it will click. Like one of those pictures within a picture. First it looks like a forest and then you see the kitten…or something. Right now I am a newbie. I am learning. There is no shame in not knowing something, especially if you strive to correct the gap in your knowledge. One step at a time. Word by word and line by line eventually leads up to chapter by chapter. I’ll get there eventually…I just have to smother my impatience and keep moving forward.