Just a short post this morning as eager to get on, but I was pondering something that we talked about briefly when I had that event in Manchester a couple of weeks back. The wonderful Sarah Dobbs was talking about process and what it was like when she worked on Killing Daniel (great novel, just beautiful) and how the edit that was eventually published was, and rightly so, the right one, she was pleased with the work she did with her publisher, but she said she has the version she prefers that’s more personal to her and she has those edits.
In some ways I get this, it’s those parts you love but know you have to take out and I still have former versions of my novel and save things I have to take out if I think they might be used somewhere else — although that never really happens. But I don’t have a version more for me. I guess we all work in different ways, but it made me think.
At the moment I am on the final read of I Am Wolf which has gone back and forth to my kindle, so I can read it as a book lying on the couch and it amazes me how many little discontinuities and typos, missing words (these are the worst as the mind fills them in!) you still come across. But I’d say about 10 to 12 edits later it’s about ready (and some of this is structural rework too). Final few chapters to do this morning and I think I can say it’s in a form I’ll let go — for now. I never send it when it’s not ready. Perfectionist? YES! Will there still be things I missed — probably!
So wondering how other folk deal with their edits and how many former versions of the work you keep. I never go back to them even if I have them — do you? It’s like evolution, once you step forward you tend not to step back. The Blind Watchmaker (Richard Dawkins) has to deconstruct to reconstruct and each of the integral stages have to be equally functional — like evolution. I suppose at least if the stages don’t work in this case it doesn’t matter too much as they are just process, like building something. The one you send out has to be the right one.
Have a great weekend everyone! Can’t wait to get back to Isle of Pelicans next week! The novel, not the place!