Adventures in Editing – The Seven Isaacs

(sorry for the long post… iPad won’t let me “Read More”)

A couple days ago, I posted a photo of the recently finished up corrections draft of my novel, THE SEVEN ISAACS. it boasted a nice, staggering number of 100,000 words. It boggles my mind that I actually wrote something that big. It clocked in somewhere around 550 pages. Yes, I tend to be wordy. I like to write. I also like to write here and tend to get wordy here. In my mind, a blog should be filled wi the written word of it’s owner to really open up that avenue into that bogger’s mind. So that’s what I do here.

My novel has been a long time coming and I really am busting my ass to get it truly finished and all the typos corrected and all the formatting stuff fixed so that I can get it on the market in October. It’s a rush, but it’s the best time of year to release my book. I try and deny the science fiction aspects of my novel, because to me it’s not about science or fantasy at all. It’s about humanity. It’s about being human and learning to be human. That being said, it is science fiction and the best time of year to release a scifi and horror book is Halloween. So, there, we have a goal. Goal is set.

Each and every day I am spending reading my novel aloud to myself to find the mistakes that need to be corrected. I have sent the book out to a few friends and family and acquaintances as well as gotten it into the hands of a couple agents and publishers (who declined btw) I know friends and family aren’t always the most objective when reviewing and there can tend to be some bias there, but I do trust the people that I have handed the book over to. I trust them to not hold back and to play it straight for me.

I’ve been a writer for a long time. Never a novel, but I’ve been writing for a very long time. I wrote my first script in 1998 and self produced my first film based on that script in 2001. Then, I was off. I was a writing machine. My early work is CRAP. Utter garbage. Some of it got better with time. Two Days with Juliet, my feature from 2003, garnered itself a couple small awards that wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t written so much shit. Juliet was a story about a cutter who was dealing with the sudden loss of her parents. It was a very tightly wound story that I wrote around one location. The characters were great. Deep and well thought out real people. That was the first time characters appeared in my writing and not caricatures.

That script had zero editing involved. I wrote what I shot and shot what I wrote. It was the perfect script. There was no room anywhere to cut anything. I thought it was the Same thing with Cold Winter. My backyard, again, award-winning, WWII spaghetti western. The script was tight, but this, I ending up learning a valuable lesson about editing. When you film something and one shot Is completely fucked and you have to rewrite the final film around that missing scene, can get interesting. You learn how much can be said and not shown and shown and not said with missing scenes. I ended up cutting ten minutes of scenes from the film, because we couldn’t keep them for various continuity reasons.

With a book, I have a tough time editing. It’s difficult for me to know what and where to cut scenes. So, I have to go with my gut. My gut tells me. My instincts let me know how much is too much and what is good and not good and what pushes the story forward and what is just filler.

About three years ago I started the novel. Then it got put aside for many months after a few chapters had been written. Then life got in the way and writer’s block got in the way. I’ve always hated that chapter. The transitionary chapter between the old me and the new me was a mess. I wrote it when my life was a mess. I didn’t truly become a writer until I got an iPad and I was able to write with the flick of a finger.

So. I the process of the third read through… I completely cut out chapter six. It’s gone. I went from 100,000 words down to 97,000 words with that flick and swipe of a finger. A short rewrite at the intro of chapter seven…. And poof. Fixed.

This morning I get an email from a friend who has been somewhat of a creative sounding board with me for the last few years. She doesn’t pull any punches and lays everything down straight. She’s always the first to tell me stuff is too wordy. Me… I just see the movie in my head.

This is what she had to say about my novel, which she hasn’t finished yet:

” I was enjoying what I was reading, but, as you know, there is a lot of editing down I think that can help.  But it is unique and, in a word, visonary.”

Visionary.

To me, that’s not a word I take lightly.

Thank you for the compliment. Hopefully I can get the book out to a few more readers and start getting some feedback before I decide to develop this into a tv series or something!

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