Editing, or even re-reading a book with humor is a challenge. With a second or a third reading, the jokes become familiar and lose their edge. By the fourth reading, they fall flat. Imagine how you might feel on the tenth reading, while working through your eighth (and final) draft. I will likely have this draft edited, but I won’t read the edits. I trust the editor enough to just accept them as is.
Anyway, it’s hard to resist the temptation to just rip every bit of humor out of the book.
Um, wow. Anyway, the difficulty is that I can’t tell if my sense of humor has changed or if I simply am sick of the humor. It’s like trying to restore a painting after you’ve gone colorblind. There’s a real temptation to rend the entire work in shades of gray; of course, that would be quite a different piece of art, wouldn’t it?
I’m finding an inverse relationship between my life and my writing. When I was alone and life frankly sucked, I wrote upbeat stories, romance, and fantasies. Now my tastes are rooted in reality and spirituality. As I wrote The Stream (new name TBD) series, I began to understand the undertones of spirituality that lived there, and they became a much greater part of the story as it evolved. Now, instead of a lighthearted story, I want to emphasize the bits that are hard to read or that connect this life to whatever lies beyond.
Still, a few lame jokes here and there can’t hurt, right?
For now, I have to pretend I’m Beethoven and trust the music I wrote when I could still hear it. This isn’t a masterpiece, but there’s a broader story afoot, and the other two books get better, darker, and more beautiful. Editing is a challenge, not because it’s hard, but because life changes us, and how we react to it affects our work. I guess life has leeched the humor out of me for now. That’s fine; I’ll see where that leads.
Hell, I thought my books had too much in them to begin with and Dark needs to be, well, dark.
One thought on “Editing Discovery, Day 15”