Recently I had a dental appointment for a filling, and it is not the most pleasant experience, and it reminded me how similar it can be to editing my new novel…
Knowing I need to edit nearly 500 pages of text is a daunting task, as is the thought of needles and sharp tools being waved around in my open mouth. You put it off as long as possible. Until your tooth aches enough that is noticeable every time you sip your coffee. Just like my friends and family keep asking me when the book is going to be finished – the peer pressure to have it ready for publication finally forces me to pull up the document and start.
The horror! Sometimes you sit there wondering how you could write such tripe, just like the sting of anaesthesia and an ache of your jaw being stretched wide for so long. Will this pain never end? The thought that it is just the beginning and you have to suffer through more of the same is disheartening. Thoughts of leaping from the dental chair and disappearing through the door with hair flying and numb mouth drooling is just the same as wanting to toss my manuscript across the room demanding why I wasn’t a better writer.
Then the pain killer kicks in, or the nitrous-oxide takes hold, and things are much better. Whether you get used to the ache, just like you settle into your writing, the dental visit becomes tolerable. You hit your editing stride and fly through the chapters, red pen in hand making the changes – the excitement starts to return you had when first writing it as the story is only getting better.
As the dental appointment finally draws to a close, you are rejoicing how you survived such an ordeal, eager to get back home; like when you get to the last pages of your first draft thinking what a mammoth task, yet resplendent in how wonderful this novel is.
Don’t forget the weird fluctuations of remorse you get afterwards: is it good enough, there are still more changes I could make… Just like the moments when you have a sip of tea and it dribbles past your numb lip to stain your favourite top.
But ultimately your smile is pearly white and beautiful, just as is your completed novel – a marvel for any reader!!
© Casey Carlisle 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.