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.