Writing is hard. Creating something from nothing, from the recesses of your imagination, can sometimes feel a bit like pulling teeth. Your own. But when you’ve overcome that painful first stage of the process and you have pages of words in some kind of structure, you can sit back and reflect. Then start editing.
I love editing. It’s fun. It’s all about refining and sculpting the words until you have the perfect combination.
Rewriting, on the other hand, is different. And for me this often comes after work has been submitted to a third party, such as an agent or publisher. This is when you get feedback that indicates that some substantial work is required to improve the piece and make it acceptable for publication. I always groan when this happens. Rewriting can be like unpicking knitting. And a bit like doing a cut and paste in your head. A mental jigsaw puzzle.
It is especially tough when you might have to sacrifice that special sentence that you felt so pleased about because it no longer works, or rewrite – or even delete – the character you were so fond of. Or restructure the first section of the book. The thing is, each change has a knock-on effect for everything else in the story. You might solve one problem, but create another.
But then, writing is all about problem solving, especially in fiction. You invent the characters and then set them into an imaginary landscape with a host of issues and situations that will change them and their lives. But you do it with love.
I often think of writing a novel as a bit like creating a patchwork quilt. You have the pattern and you have selected the fabric of your story, and now you have to patiently connect everything together, piece by piece, blocking and layering the colours and textures of your characters and their journeys, until you have created a beautiful, unique work of art.
To find out more about Jane’s publishing experiences, go to her blog www.janeayres.blogspot.co.uk
Her trilogy of Matty Horse and Pony Adventures books for pre-teens and teens (and nostalgic older readers) are available as ebooks on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. All profits from these stories are going to Redwings Horse Sanctuary.
Matty and the Racehorse Rescue is FREE TO DOWNLOAD from 23rd-27th November!