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On Editing and Finding Gold in Mocca tarts

Last week we celebrated my Birthday. Thanks 🙂 Yes, I got a lovely cake or two, in fact one was very special: a tart, Mocca flavour with chocolate and yes,

 

a splodge of gold! Right on top, like an afterthought, but of course it wasn’t that at all. It was a work of art and the culmination of layer upon layer of an exquisite mocca and chocolate mixed with leaves of gold throughout – invisible to the eye but divine in its taste. The ‘splodge’ brought it all together in a climactic overture and the whole thing made complete sensory sense.

In writing a book terms, I’d say the gold is probably the essence. Once you’ve got the essence of the story, it needs to be filtered in, scene by scene, chapter by chapter. Only when you start writing you’re not necessarily aware of what the story really is about. This only reveals itself over the course of time, which is why a book can take years to write. Now I’m sure there are a gazillion and one ways to approach writing a story but this is, in short, what I’ve gone through so far:

  1. Writing, thinking, dreaming the new story and its characters.
  2. Putting all those ideas down into comprehensive scenes.
  3. Organising those scenes into a coherent storyline
  4. Understanding the essence of the story, the gold, so to speak, with the help of a story outline..
    Sound easy? Ha. It only took me the better part of two years to process!and now? Looking at all that now, it certainly seems like I’ve fallen into the next phase. Just like that. Only of course there wasn’t really any ‘just’ about it.
    And it seems like the next phase is another biggy:
  5. Editing

 

Editing..

This is the phase where I need to go back to the beginning now that I know what the story is about, form chapters and work through each chapter with the character’s goal in mind, not revealing too much in order to evoke a certain level of interest and suspense. Pick through each layer of the cake, so to speak and make sure the ingredients are all balanced..

Um, is that dust on the chandelier?

was one of the thoughts that darted through my mind in response – only then I noticed something inside me, an unusual tickle inside my heart, an excitement that even though my head says,

Oh no, go over all you’ve written – again! and make sure it works now that the whole picture is clear (I mean do artists do this with their paintings, photographers with their photos, teenagers with their Maths tests? – I digress but you get the point?)

My heart, though, tells me a different story. There’s excitement mixed with a dash of happiness, pride maybe at even getting this far, at finding that splodge of essence. At not giving up, but of course, I’m not there yet. The work still needs to be done. So, I’m thinking – how? How will I help myself to find the discipline to keep going?

#challenge

= that is the newfound fun thing to do that springs to mind.

I need a new IG challenge, one that will help me work, in smaller portions perhaps but as long as I work over a paragraph or two, a scene or so every few days, that will keep my memory fresh and it will help me to stay focussed on the storyline.

So I’ve decided that over the next 100 days I will post my favourite/most difficult/most inspiring line out of the scene I am working on along with a picture that corresponds in some way to that scene.

Wait a minute, 100! why not just 21 days?

..let me share some of the thoughts with you that this challenge idea caused:

Now it is nearly October, which means another holiday period shortly with possibly no internet and then it’s NaNoWriMo month and then it’s Christmas so it’s going to be difficult, impossible even? 

Which, for me are normal thoughts. I just have to accept that – some sort of innate whacky self-protection mode? Thoughts that tell me all the reasons why not to do something. But isn’t all this about doing something, finishing something? I think I can do it, it will be hard but a challenge isn’t supposed to be easy or it wouldn’t be a challenge, right? I’d really like to do this and so I hope that you will support me by showing up and possibly even commenting, maybe it’ll inspire you to  join in at some point? Have you got any unfinished project lying at the bottom of your drawer? or in the cellar (see last weeks post about my dusty chandelier). And maybe you just want to hang around and wait and see what happens, which would be great too.

Right, so, here goes, see you tomorrow on IG and until then happy creating 🙂 xx

Thanks for your comments!

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