Friday, 1 April 2011

View from the Summit

I finished Hidden Daughter's line edits last week.  It's a big moment for me, and it marks a turning point in my writing - I'm not writing a novel, I've written a novel.  A good one.
It's been a long climb, and as a fresh faced, first time novellist, I didn't realise I'd have to do it twice.

One story, two ascents
The first climb (writing the first draft), was more of a scramble; lots of slips on the way, some parts that I struggled getting through to move forward, some very muddy paths that slowed me down, some wrong turns.
By the time I got to the top, and looked at the path I'd made to the summit, I could see how I managed to get there, but if I wanted to bring anyone with me, I needed to clear the path of the story.  Properly.

So the second climb began (rewrites, and line edits) - to make the story less of a scramble, and more of a journey for the reader.
Looking back down the mountain for a second time, I can see where I've cleared out the stones, marked the pathway, and drained the boggy bits.  I can see where the story twists and turns it's way towards it's conclusion, giving the reader a glimpse of the summit as they climb, helping them look forwards to the next chapter.

And because Hidden Daughter is the first of three books that follow the reluctant time-traveller Penny, I've given them a peek through the clouds to the next mountain, waiting to be climbed.

So I've finished my novel.  Now I have to get my boots back on, ready to find a new path to a new summit.

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