There was a time I hated editing. There was a time I thought all the fun was in ferrying my ideas into reality, in writing them on paper for the first time around. I thought the thrill of discovery, and that strange feeling I experienced—of tapping into some mysterious sort of alternate reality—was all I cared about. But then, blunt and irreverent, time barged in as it always does. And much to my chagrin it showed me I was mistaken. In short, it happened the most obvious thing in the world. I began rereading some of the stories I had written. In particular, I began rereading them months after I had written them. A change of perspective The results weren’t exactly flattering. Indeed, in many cases I discovered my stories, that had seemed so damn fantastic to me on the day of completion, now presented a long series of disturbing problems.
As the saying goes love is blind. But anybody doted with a properly functioning brain knows that love has more chances of surviving the first brief heated moments if after the first reaction, (let’s call it so…) we spit in our palms and start working to really get to know what we love. On some occasions this work of research can end in disappointment, often instead it rewards us with a deeper and more satisfying understanding of the object of our love. I believe this holds true both for books and people. The only, negligible (sure, really negligible…) difference being that the relationship between two people is a billion times more complex than that between readers and the books they’re reading. This is why I’m going to write about this latter. You know, this is supposed to be a post, not the Encyclopædia Britannica.
After having reread and revised it at least five times, I’ve just sent off my first short novel, Ruin, to my editor. If everything goes as it should, within weeks I should manage to publish it. I wrote the first draft of Ruin in about three weeks. The story came to me easily and I enjoyed writing it. Then, after a pause to let it settle, to put some distance between me and the world I had imagined, I began the revising process. Though I had already edited a conspicuous amount of works before, the very first day I realized that the editing of Ruin was going to be a far less pleasant process than the previous ones had been. So much so that I found myself more often than not struggling just to keep my butt glued to the chair, to keep my fingers working the keyboard.
When starting out, setting goals is essential. I mean, for this post, my very first post I wanted to write something brilliant, something memorable. For a while I examined, and subsequently discarded, many different ideas. I also worked my ass off to find elegant and dazzling ways to spark up my writings. But I soon discovered that no stylistic ruse and no idea was ever going to be good enough for my lofty goal. After the umpteenth draft and the umpteenth change of subject I was frustrated and spent to say the least – but not an inch closer to my goal. At this point, exasperated, I decided to take a break. I went to the kitchen and made myself some coffee. I made it steaming and black, in line with my mood. Once my caffeine reserves were restocked, my spirits instantly perked up again, and I decided that even though…