THE END. Phew! Finally got that done. Thank God I can move on to the next project-or can I? People who aren’t dealing with the writing industry often believe that the hardest part of writing is well, writing. They couldn’t be more wrong. I recently found out that the editor of Dark Moon Digest and also Dark Moon Books, my dear friend Stan Swanson, would like to publish an anthology of my more extreme stories! Holy Cats! I feel like a rock star! 🙂 Cue the triumphant music! Anyway, I thought I would take a little time to clue you, the reader, in on what sort of work really goes into a project such as this. Books are born in the authors mind, but it takes a team of talented professionals to take this vision and make it a reality. Follow me on my journey.
First I write a story. Why? Because that’s what I do. Writing a story is the easiest part of the process if you have a story to tell. It’s time consuming and at times frustrating, but the telling of tales is what I excel at, so it hardly seems a chore. The real work begins just after the story is told. I will gloss over my own editing and initial rewrites, these are my burden alone, and start with what happens next. I personally am blessed with a beta reader who has a degree in English and editing, who is a good friend willing to give each story a once over for me and assist me in the polishing process. Her name is Kacy, and I love her dearly. She slaughters my genius and makes it more palatable for you to read. This is a painful but necessary process, and you should be grateful to her, as she cuts the parts that I know deep inside are unnecessary, but still love too much to let go. This is my baby, and she is disciplining it. Next I send the story to Stan, who reads it and sends it out to a handful of editors for opinions. If the story is regarded poorly, it hits the floor, and I go on to create another. If the comments are good, my little baby goes on to another editor, Mina. She is the one dedicated to the actual edit of each story in the anthology. It is her job to make sure that they end up as the best possible tale that we can include. So Mina’s job is to make Kacy’s discipline look like a walk in the park! She roots through every aspect of the story leaving no stone unturned, and questions the very paper it’s written on! HaHa! It’s not truly so bad as that, but it’s brutal. When she has put the ax away, the story is sent back to me, bleeding and mangled. I am only kidding, but when you first open that email and see your creation nearly obliterated by red ink, it’s a bit horrific. Once again, it is absolutely necessary. When the shock has worn off, I go through the story line by line and consider the corrections. This is not a one time thing, but can occur four or five times before the story is put to bed.
I should stop here for a second and explain, I adore Kacy and Mina, my stories benefit GREATLY from their expertise. I am in no way being critical of them, it is their job to be critical of me. I’m just trying to relay the pain of the editing process as we writers feel it. It hurts, but it is also exhilarating! You see, taking 5 hours to simply write a story doesn’t make me feel like a writer, it’s what I’ve always done. But taking a couple weeks to review edits and re-write a story, well now that feels professional! I no longer go days without checking my email, certain that it contains only jokes. I now check my email many times a day. So close. I am so damn close to being a professional. In all honesty, I think that scares me the most!
Next week I will walk you through the horrors that await me when the stories are actually done!
Check out Mina’s fan page for her own book, due out soon from Dark Moon Books! Show some love! https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Blind-Hunger/189830657704893