Editing - The Life of a Writer?
I can’t remember when I wasn’t last editing. It’s become something of a way of life.
Last week I finished editing ‘Nightjar’, a speculative fiction piece. It's a fantasy folkloric tale set in a feudal future and I’ve drawn inspiration from fairy tale tropes and the Celtic landscape I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by. Not a five minute walk away is an old Iron Age Fort, Caesar’s Hill, and there the trees do walk.
They rise from the ground. I will show you!
I hardly needed an imagination; simply looked back in time and found an old Roman Way just to the east. It follows a ridge and runs north to south, shells underfoot where once a shallow sea resided. The story spun itself from there; an immortal and his quest for eternal love.
So now I’m sending it out to toddle off to literary agents.
I can only hope.
So what to do?
I have returned to a final edit of ’76 and the Odd 93’.
This is the first novel I wrote; and only just a novel. At 43,000 words or so it edges past the novella threshold. It’s been through a number of edits already, due to it being my first flush at writing twenty and more years ago. I’m pleased to say this edit’s going quick. Two to four thousand words a day, tinkering just to make it flow.
It’s a dark piece and I have to say I don’t really like revisiting it. Crime-noir, and again I’d call it speculative fiction; literary too. It’s inspired by my own youth and draws on personal experiences of mental, physical and emotional abuse as a child to create a monster of the future.
It cuts close to the bone. But I’m pleased with it now.
I think this edit will be done and dusted by the end of November and so I will have two manuscripts to query shortly. I’m not sure many agents will like this topic though, in terms of commercial viability given its length, and so I’m toying with self-publishing.
I have another manuscript finished as a first draft called ‘Forever Raven’.
It’s set in the same world as ‘Nightjar’, but this time I explore the parallel world of the Fae. Again I draw inspiration from fairy tales, folklore and the world about me. A place called Galley Hill. Many villages in England have a Galley Hill. It was the place where, in the past, criminals were hung; the name being originally derived from out of Gallows Hill.
I really enjoyed writing it.
So that’s one option...
I have a historical novel (first draft – 125,000+ words) that I wrote when I first returned to writing three to four years ago. I was very ill at the time, a mental breakdown and onset of being diagnosed with BPD, with other things besides (all as a result of what inspired my writing of ’76 and the Odd 93’). It’s about Brute of Troy, and to be honest I don’t remember what I wrote.
That’s another option...
Both would see me halfway through 2018, at least.
I’d quite like to write something new. Maybe read a book too.