Editing. How do you know when to stop? When to say, that’s enough, kiss this darling goodbye? This week I submitted my 10,000-word romance to Serenity Press after tinkering around with minor edits. When Karen, the publisher, asked when she could read the story (I’ve been sending her teasers for a while), I went home, checked the manuscript one last time and pressed send. Lexie and Andrew’s story of finding love in Rockingham, amid the real-life controversy of a marina development, is now one step closer to publication. Called “The Point of Love” (a reference to the beautiful Point Peron pictured below with a teaser), it’s due to appear in the Rocky Romance anthology later this year and it may be published individually on Amazon. Watch this space.
With that story sent, I turned my attention to another project – “Valiant Return”, a short story for a local writing competition. The words flowed easily for this one – I finished the first draft on Friday afternoon and asked my special reader, Blue Eyes, to read it through. It made him teary – his response was that the story was sad, but lovely. It’s a piece about a mother and son reconnecting after the loss of their husband and father. I really enjoyed writing “Valiant Return”, even though it’s an emotional piece. As the mother of two sons, the idea of trying to stay connected during the difficult teenage years is close to my heart and I was able to draw on some of my own experiences with one of my sons … at times the process felt cathartic. No wonder I was a bit of a sook the next morning. Today I read through it, changed a few bits and now I’m going to leave it to steep for a week, while I start work on another short piece.
I’m scribbling down notes for a novel as well. I have two or three in very early stages – ideas, random chapters and notes – but something Blue Eyes said on the weekend struck a chord. The key word? Simplicity. All I’ve done at this point is scribble down some ideas … and they keep coming. I’ll keep you posted on that one.
Morning tea with Karen McDermott from Serenity Press was a lovely treat last Friday. I interviewed Karen back in 2012 when I first started Write Note Reviews and she released her book, The Visitor; we’ve had sporadic contact over the years. Our catch up was full of chatter, ideas and laughs – I felt like we just clicked. Stay tuned – our coffee dates could get a lot more frequent.
Finally, here are some of the pictures that didn’t make it to last week’s Midweek Moment post (a creative photography collaboration with Perth author, Louise Allen):
Sounds like you’ve had a productive week! When to stop editing is a hard question. I can always tell when I’ve finished a poem because I stop hearing my own voice when I read it. That’s when I know it’s ready to stand on its own. I can also pick the tipping point where something isn’t perfect but if I keep editing it, I’m going to stifle the life out of it. I then have to decide if the piece has enough going for it to let it walk out the door as is, which is tricky. Fiction is more challenging for me as the process just goes on and on and on… For me, it comes down to whether or not I still feel passionate enough about the project to stick with it, or if deep down, I’ve already cut my losses and started thinking about what to do next. I never really get a sense of 100% completion with fiction the way I do with poetry – not sure why. 🙂
I get what you’re saying. You do need to listen to that voice.
I’d love to see some of your poetry, Nicole. Maybe poetry is your true voice and that’s why you intuitively know when the poem is done.
There’s some on my website, or if you Google my name, some lit mag stuff should come up. This is novel #3 for me and I still think of myself as a poet first, but I do like going back and forth – such different ways of work and I learn a lot about one from spending time on the other.:-) On a side note, what kind of camera do you shoot with and do you use any lighting?
I’m using a Canon 700D. I have two lenses at the moment – the one for macros is a Canon EF-S 60mm (it’s fantastic). I took the images shared on this post sans flash. Hopefully I’ll have an LED ring to help when I need to create light. The other day I asked my husband to shine a torch on the object I was photographing. Yet to see if that one worked.
Beautiful photos–I especially love the flower in the mirror shot. It’s nice to hear about your writing, too, and great news about publication. I’m so glad you’re devoting time to your own writing. I’m like you in that I don’t know when to stop editing either–I suspect it’s one of those things you learn with experience. Let’s hope so!
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Pretty sure I want to be more like you when I grow up, Monique. Thanks for the lovely, insightful post – as always!! 🙂
You just need to be you, Louisa! But thanks 🙂
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