Sometimes the process of writing is really frustrating. When I say ‘writing’, what I really mean is ‘editing’. Let’s say you’ve written a story and you love every word of it. Nothing can be changed because the particular phrasing in a certain section early in the story is absolutely necessary to explain why a character reacts in a particular way thousands of words later. You’ve read and re-read the story hundreds of times, and you are damn sure you can’t change that portion of it because doing so will destroy what you’ve so carefully built. Then, in the interest of making the best possible story, you leave the story on a shelf for a while to gain a bit of objectivity. When you pick the manuscript up (or open the file, as it were) after several weeks, you are still certain that the particular part in question must remain, but literally everything between those points must change for continuity and flow.
Such is the case with Brian’s Secret. I was supremely confident that I would be able to copy-edit the manuscript and have it in stores extremely quickly, but after distancing myself from the story a bit, too much needs to be edited to make that happen. I’ve been editing the story for a while now (longer than it took to write it, actually) and it pains me that I have to remove so much to get it to a printable form. By word count alone, I’ve removed just over 30,000 words during the editing process (that’s half the total length of the entire In the Shadow of Angels story). Major subplots and character building sections simply had to be removed to keep the story flowing and interesting (those parts still exist, and will eventually make it into print form as Ashwood’s vast and eclectic cast of characters unfolds in later stories). The process of removing so much of my masterpiece (subjectively, of course) pushed me to pick up an old habit to occupy some time and clear my mind. That habit: guitar. Continue reading My other muse