Ripping the book apart

I can’t get over the separation that’s come between me and my first draft of Climbing Yggdrasil. I was just rereading a chapter, vaguely remembering what it was like to pound it out on the keyboard, and spotting little things that annoyed me about the text. Places where I was vague instead of expansive. Opportunities to do more, mostly.

As I read aloud to my husband, certain patterns emerge, things that seem a touch repetitive that I have to question. Then when I go back and reread it silently, I take notes and decide on what reinforces instead of repeats, what patterns are acceptable. In this latest chapter, our pilot’s parents reiterate a few times that they are happy the crew of the Sylphid takes care of their boy. This seems normal for a couple of farming folk whose son goes gallivanting across the solar system for years at a time between visits. (I also counted each instance and didn’t get past three, so that doesn’t seem excessive to me.)

“Just as long as you keep my boy out of trouble,” Manda murmured.

Yet I am still a little stunned by the effect time has on writing. It’s still mine, but I feel no reluctance to tear it apart and twist it painfully into something better. I am better able to see it as a reader who demands satisfaction rather than the sensitive writer who is protective of his baby.

And it’s kind of fun to rip things apart. I’m curious to see how I’ll take criticism from my beta readers. It shouldn’t be hard, my husband has already brought up things I hadn’t thought of in the vein of, “The way you wrote it is good, but wouldn’t it make more sense this way?”

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