Much to my chagrin, I’ve found myself periodically torn away from continually querying one novel, finishing two others (I know, at this point, it’s getting ridiculous, because I’m thinking of doing over my first ever completed one without having finished two others I’ve been doing), and writing any more short stories because I’ve been writing, rewriting, and editing this one little piece of steampunk which I’ve had as a pet project the last month or two (which, you know, helped in fleshing out even more characters for a steampunk novel I’ve been on-and-off working on). That said, I’d written and sent in a few other short stories I’d done in the past (one got accepted, by the way, more on it later!), so it’s not like I put all my eggs in one basket. If I did, it’d be a sad, depressing basket.
The point is, the amount of times I’ve ranted about the process of writing this short story has made me realize at the amount of inner monologue I have with myself as I rant over the edits. Some of my friends are familiar with this agonizing, actually. Bless them for humoring me with their patience and their lack of declaration that I’m out of my damn mind.
For those who have not seen my inner monologue, I can briefly summarize them here (and yes, I am going to use my trusty gifs):
THE BEGINNING: Putting the story on paper/computer screen/parchment (hey, you never know).
Alright, I can do this! I got a plan! It’s a good one! I’ve been mulling it over for aaaaages, and this’d be a GREAT opportunity to put it in play. Oh, and what? Romance? Yeah, yeah, I’m sure I can handle that…somewhat…maybe? Oh, well, maybe shooting someone’s ship down isn’t a great start…but IT IS SUCH A GREAT START.
Pondering the repercussions and the characters
Okay, okay, maybe I’ll redo this just a wee bit. I really like the beginning, and I know how I want to end this. I think. Let’s throw this and this and this in.
Realizing the amount of problems are clearly going to overtake the story
Eh. There’s too much happening. Might have to go simple on this one. Yes, yes, yes, I think I know what to do now!
THE MIDDLE: Rewriting the story after finishing it the first time
Oh, sweet Jesus, I can relax now. For a bit. While I ponder what I just did there. Ugh. NO. I can’t stop. This doesn’t make any sense. WHY DOES IT LOOK SO WRONG. WHY ARE MY CHARACTERS BEING SO DAMN DIFFICULT.
Realizing that half of what’s been written has no place in the big picture of things
Aww…but this bit was really good! It took me an abominably long time to frame this paragraph! I HAD TO DO SOME INNER RESEARCH ON FEELINGS. WHY DO YOU NOT FIT, PARAGRAPHS OF OVERALL STEAMY GOODNESS?
Deleting those paragraphs with no pomp and ceremony
CLOSE TO THE END NOW: Knowing that the piece is in a good place, since it’s less cluttered with multiple secondary plots
Okay. Okay. This is actually looking much better now. This can still work. I might still have a plan!
THE STORY ACTUALLY FINISHED (Yes, seriously, the first drafts are never “finished” stories in my book):
FINALLY. OH THANK YOU DIVINITIES ABOVE. OH LORDYDEE I CAN FINALLY MOVE ON TO…THE…
THE EDITING: Wondering when this will ever end
WHY DID THE WORD COUNT INCREASE. I SWEAR I DELETED HALF OF THE STORY ALREADY. HOW THE HECK DID I ADD ANOTHER THOUSAND WORDS? WHAT THE HECK AM I GOING TO CUT NOW?
And so the fight continues…