For those who don't know, a Writer's Hat is a big, fluffy, brightly colored hat that's comfortable and soft and feels like perfection.
|The Writer's Hat - the Image of Perfection (In the form of a hippie hat.) |
Image Via http://www.hippyclothingco.co.uk/
|Just add fire ants |
(Courtesy of the Devil's Rope Museum, TX)
Then you put on that not-quite-comfortable Editor's Hat. The barbed wire is a nice reminder of the cuts you must take and the babies you must kill. The fire ants, meanwhile, eat away at your positive energy and spit out poison LIES that you're the worst writer in history.
I promise you, every writer in the world has thought this at one point. If you haven't, you're not trying hard enough.
Stupid fire ants.
|"I thrive on your positive energies... and the occasional caterpillar." |
(Image via flickr.com)
You feel just right.
This is where I am right now.
Over Lent, I took off that Writer's Hat and put on the Editor's Hat. At first, I just had the Standard Hat. All the editing was done by me based on my decisions of what needed to be edited.
One of the biggest things that needed editing was the climax of the book. The last time I looked at it was LAST Easter, when I finished rewriting this draft of the book. And I must have been totally worn out by that point since the climax made NO SENSE at all. XP So I rewrote it.
Then I pulled up the professional edits. -GASP-
I love my editor. He's probably the best person I could have ever had for an editor. He's got military history, so he knows the military side of my story. He likes anthro stories. He enjoys urban fantasy. He's wonderful at pointing out my inconsistencies in character, action, and plot points. He's always pushing me to add more and better description to make a stronger, more interesting connection to the reader and paint a stronger picture in their minds. Heck, he even has a hilarious sarcastic streak and writes "No, no, no, no" every time one of my characters does something out of character.
But. And there's always a but.
He also edits almost every other sentence. The comments are so big and long that my computer often slows down because it can't keep up. It often takes me an HOUR to add the edits he's suggested to just FIVE PAGES.
Thankfully, the Editor Hat is starting to feel a little more comfortable on my head, so editing is getting easier and better.
My editor is about half way through my book right now with his edits and I'm patiently waiting for the rest of them. And once I'm finished with those edits, then it's time to hang up the Editor's Hat and put the Writer's Hat on. And weirdly, this is actually hard to do.
As difficult as it is to put on the Editor's hat, it's just as difficult to put the Writer's Hat back on. By now, I'm USED to the harshness of editing. I'm ready to smash things and rip them apart and polish the rough stone left behind by my cutting. Which means I'm struggling to let myself believe that I'm writing perfection.
It means writing in general is hard.
It's very easy to fall into that trap of writing a little, then editing too much. You have to tell yourself that your first draft writing is the BEST EVER just to keep yourself writing enough that you have something to properly edit in the future.
So here I am, nearly ready to ditch the Editor Hat and ready to don the Writer's Hat.
Book Two, here I come. Wish me luck.