Editing is full of doubt

#amediting #amstruggling

Yes, I’m struggling as I edit this story, the one that needs more romance. I sit here at the laptop and gaze at the words on the page and wonder if I’m trying to do something I shouldn’t be doing. So then I go out in the garden and hope a butterfly will slow down long enough for me to take a good picture. Or I go shopping and – gosh, where has the morning gone and I don’t feel like it any more.

Sit down, concentrate, this has to happen. Why is it so hard? Get into her head. She’s smitten but she’s wary. Get into his head. He’s besotted but he can’t. She’s not the right one. She can’t be the right one. How does that feel? Hot, sweaty, horny, uncomfortable. And her? Tight nipples, wetness, heat, all tingly, all aware of scents.

Write more words.

Can I do this? Should I do this?

Yes, I should and yes, I can. Remember when I had to add a lot more romance to ‘The Iron Admiral’? It was hard, as hard as this. Maybe not quite so hard because I wasn’t writing a romance. Not really. Was I? But I rewrote and rewrote and I must have got it fairly right because people said things like “Chaka Saahran is one sexy dude: a military man (imagine him in uniform) fully capable of killing when necessary, commanding an enormous battleship, and presiding over thousands of soldiers, while behind the scenes arranging for a bolt of exquisite green material shot with details of gold to be crafted into a magical dress for the woman he loves. Made me sigh more than once.”

Okay, that worked. I know I can I know I can I know I can… A caterpillar turns into a butterfly.

But even so, I’m open to suggestions. Anyone?

8 thoughts on “Editing is full of doubt

  1. Rebecca

    It took me 15 years to figure out my love triangle…so I’m no help. However! Sometimes, when I’m really stuck, I’ll deliberately think about it as I fall asleep. Quite often the solution, or A solution, or at least a better understanding, or some kind of insight, comes to me during the night.

  2. Rick Gualtieri

    I generally find a few days break, especially in editing is enough to recharge my brain. What seems like an insurmountable plot issue often resolves itself via a dream or just a random though popping into my head while I’m shaving. In short (and this is something I occasionally have trouble doing myself) sometimes we need to step back. I’m not advocating a 6 month holiday, but a weekend off won’t really push things back and will often give you a fresh perspective.

    1. Greta van der Rol

      So true, Rick. But I’ve tried that and now I just simply have to push on. I won’t feel I can start a new book until this is done. Thanks for taking the time to give your views. It’s all useful, as I think to myself “have I tried that?’

  3. Cheryl

    Think about not only how it would feel but what they are thinking. If you are her, and you feel what she feels, what would you be unable to stop yourself from doing? If you were him, and you know how he feels, what would you risk — in THIS SCENE – to get what you want? Then write it. Relax and live it in your head and the words will come. Like when Chaka stayed with her in the supply division when she was hurt despite what anyone thought or when he went after her at the dance or took care of the officer who was too insistent on getting a date. It’s all part of the romance. The physicality grows out of those moments. Get inside just one and see where it takes you. Pick your favorite.

  4. MonaKarel

    I pretty much start with characters, and they handle the romance. Maybe if you’re having trouble with the romance, your characters need some tweaking? You write strong people with tremendous depth of personality. The delight with Iron Admiral was Saahren’s bumbling attempts at romance, when he hadn’t intended to ever find a life partner. He had to learn WHEN to be a lover and when to be an Admiral. Wonderful character growth!

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