Holy cow, the edits on A Lonely Magic have been immense. I wish I knew whether they’d made the book better. At this point, I am so close to it that I definitely can’t see the forest for the trees–the trees that are made of words like “looked” and “seemed” and “eyes narrowed” and “nodded” and “sighed.”
I have to turn it over to the editor tonight (or possibly tomorrow–I told him I’d send it on April 29th, so he’s not expecting it until then and I know he’s been in the middle of a big project himself.) If I had more time, I would definitely use it. More edits and more edits and more edits! But maybe it’s better this way. I can let go of it for a while and let other people look at it and work on it.
I’m in an interesting mental space about it, though. With Ghosts, I felt like I’d written a nice little story. Sure, it could be better, but it was the best I could do at the time, and good enough to share with the people I thought would have fun reading it. I figured my family and friends would buy it out of loyalty (probably not ever read it, though!), and my dozen or so Eureka fanfiction friends would read it out of interest and that would be it. With Thought, I felt a lot more pressure, but my life was also a complete mess and I felt obligated to finish it somewhere within the range of time that I’d said it would be done. I let go of it feeling satisfied that I’d done the best I could do in the circumstances and that it was a fair value to a reader at the price. With Time, I might very well have stuck the manuscript onto a hard drive and in a drawer somewhere were it not for my lovely beta readers. If people hadn’t liked it, I wouldn’t have kept working on it.
With ALM–well, technically, I’m done. I could publish it within a couple of weeks pretty easily if I felt so inclined. But I might not. I might keep revising. I might add more scenes. I might delete scenes. I might move characters around. For the first time, I’m not thinking “good enough” and “the best I can do” are sufficient. I feel like I’ve imagined a world which could be so much fun to play in for such a long time that I really, really want it to be as amazing on the page as it is in my head. Good enough isn’t, I want it to be great. And if it’s not, then I think I want to keep trying to make it better. I might have to become a better writer first, though, and that’s sort of easier said than done.
Meanwhile, though, I should get back to it. I’ve got one chapter half-finished with minor rewrites, one that needs major, major work and two more that I think are close to done. That’s a lot to do today!