Before I get into the meat and potatoes of this entry, I want to first express gratitude. As of this writing, my previous post has been read by over 1960 people and counting. For this, I am grateful, especially given the subject matter of the post. You are appreciated.
So, peeps that follow me on Facebook and Twitter know that since this past August I've taken a break from writing new stories until this upcoming November. I've been writing consistently for roughly two years now. With each project, my talent for being a tales teller has grown. I've seen it evident in the difference in style of my first book, The Dreamweaver, and my last offering, The Iska: Ma'auni.
For me, it's always been about the passion of writing, not the material results of my works. It wasn't until this past summer that I'd decided to monetize my projects. So not only did I take a break from writing, per se, I've also made the decision to not do any promoting for the time being. I've been taking each book and giving them to an editor I hired. Before I put my books out again for serious marketing I want them each to have a spit and polish error-free read, plus a new book cover for most of them.
I will say this. Some writers will recognize this right away, some will learn the hard way, but sooner or later we all discover the value of a good editor. Now, I'm not the name dropping type, and I won't here, out of respect for her privacy. If she reads this, then it will be for her to acknowledge. But in the vein of giving her free advertising, I'm quite fortunate to have found her, as she is worth every penny. She'll slice and dice my writings. Red lines and yellow highlights all over the place. Yet she'll also throw in suggestions of her own. Sometimes a word or sentence here and there, other times a complete paragraph. Thing is, most of the time I'll look at her suggestions and be like, now why didn't I think of that? The mark of a good editor, I suppose.
(But then I'm like, should I give her co-author credit?)
Even as I'm writing this, I'm thinking about something my grandmother (who, despite having passed away years ago, is still a major influence on my life) once said.
"Don't wait until my funeral to give me flowers."
You are never too old to appreciate the little things. To not only recognize growth, but to acknowledge those that aided in said growth.
That said, I have no problem admitting that before my editor, I honestly did not know the difference between showing a story and telling one. Nor did I recognize the fundamental importance of one over the other.
To her, I give thanks.
It's also because of this newfound knowledge that I'm doing a rewrite for the first time. Doing more showing and less telling on my novel that started it all, The Dreamweaver. For the record, I now hate rewrites. I now regard rewrites with the same level of disdain as I have for crickets. I hate crickets. I hate crickets with an unholy passion. From the pit of where hatred is brewed is where my hatred of crickets is stewed. I hate that a group of crickets is called an orchestra. Orchestra denotes an entity of beauty, of poise, of elegant music. Nothing elegant about crickets. An obsidian horde of six-legged infestation creatures to be eradicated to the point of extinction. If crickets went extinct next week, I'd fluff my pillow and sleep like a baby. When I die, all that needs to be put on my gravestone?
"HE HATED CRICKETS."
Sho'nuff and Nuff said.
So as I'm going through & updating each chapter with new ideas, I'm remembering the original passion I felt writing this particular book. After all, you never forget your first. That feeling of being wrapped up in a trinity of man, music, muse. Those moments where I turn on the Bluetooth and select my playlist. Where everything else is tuned out except the voices in the head. When the worldbuilding begins. Mapping out not only the topographical landscapes but the politics, the personalities, the people. The realization that with each swipe of the pen, with every keystroke, I'm creating a world that, to the imagination, is every bit as vivid as the real one.
And I'm there again, at the moment of creation. Where thought became action. That maxim, if I knew then what I know now. Yeah, but in this case, I can go back to that version of myself from two years ago when I first wrote this (my flagship banner book). Now I can say a few things to my past self. Add this here. Take that part out. Put this there to throw in a touch of mystique. Create an underlying thread for the reader with the watchful eye to follow. It's like the present KD and the past KD are having a conversation. Collaborating. The past KD finishing his part and bringing his work to the present KD. Together coming up with a book that's more refined, mature, polished.
The past and present KD's look at each other. The past looks at the maturity he will grow into within two short years. The present KD looks at the wide-eyed wonder of what could be. At that fire in the belly whenever a pen was in hand.
A passion reignited.
Yeah, this is why I write.
One last thing. Both past and present KD's agree on one thing...we still hate crickets.