Saturday, May 26, 2012

Interacting with an earlier me

I'm deep into editing, with the assistance of another set of eyes, my science fiction novel. Actually, this is one my my science fiction novels. The first one I completed.

And there's the rub. It's the first one. It dates from the NaNoWriMo nonsense of 2008. It was the first NaNo I'd participated in. It's a long time ago in many ways. Editor Unleashed, the blog and forum created and run by Maria Schneider, was still extant then. I even had a guest post there about my NaNo experience. My claim to fame was I was writing my novel by hand, with a fountain pen.

So, a long time ago. And it shows...

Over the years, I've gotten better. I like to think I have. That my writing, by dint of applying craft, by practicing, by writing, has gotten better. By "better", read 'readable'. Not legible - there's much more work still to do about my handwriting.

But 'readable'. Short, effective sentences. Far fewer sentences becoming, because of the piling-up of explanatory - and often sub-sub-subordinate - clauses such as this one, something of an obstacle course for the hapless, or even really interested, reader.

We've discovered far too many sentences such as the above. I don't write like that today. Not nearly so much, anyway.

Some of my early writing, even before November 2008, was formal in tone. Particularly when doing dialogue. I know I've improved there. Its ghosts walk yet in this novel.

I take heart. I can see, and hear, that my writing's improved. I can measure the distance between what I know now, and what I clearly didn't know then. Or, if known, scarcely applied.

There's much work to do to carve this novel into shape. Others I've written since aren't as bad. But I like this story. I like the characters. I won't let my ineptitude get in the way of their playing in the sun.

"They call us Dark" will see the light of day.


  1. Always a sign that you're doing something right. I love the play in the last sentence!

    1. I sure hope I'm doing something right, Laura. Glad you enjoyed the last sentence. It's still the working title, but nothing better's come up as yet.

  2. :) I also giggled a little at the last sentence, nice phrasing!
    Hope you have an easy time editing, Kevin, glad you like it so much to work on it some more!

    1. Not such an easy time, Estrella. A lot of it is in the "what was I thinking?" vein - but I am much helped by having another editing it with me.

      But, I do like the story. One hopes future readers will enjoy it.

  3. I loved this post, and how you noticed have you have changed and improved, I too have found that looking back at my work 4 years ago when I started to now, there is a big difference. But hey if your gut tells you this is a good story, just re-edit, that is what I did with Jumping At Shaddows, kept the story just edited to make it smooth, smart and clean. ^_^

    I believe in your kevin!