The “Ah-ha” Light Bulb Moment

Since Mr. Ed has my latest creation in his editing mill (I wish I had web cam so I could see the creative developmental process during full bore production), I’ve been working on self-editing my First Monstrosity.

This novel started out as a couple of hurriedly scribbled notes on the back of an airline boarding pass. That was January 2007, on a trip back from San Francisco. (Um, that banner photo at the top of my blog? That was taken the same weekend.)

It took two long years and a week to complete. Somehow my scrap of paper grew from 500 words to 175K words. (The monsters that seize our bodies and take over our lives…huh, I guess this is how a simple whale turned into Moby Dick.)

I’m no Know-It-All writer, and I’ve learned a lot in the last three years. In editing, I can see where the first 100 pages were God-awful. I made every mistake in the book: descriptions of weather, dreams, an overabundance of back story, jumped around almost a dozen POVs, overuse of adverbs and adjectives, you name it, I did it.

But I am not a shameless rule breaker. In fact, I’m mortified that I let what friends I had read this horrid tome.

The one thing I noticed in editing is that the farther I get along in the story, the better my writing becomes. I attribute my gradual ascent into decent writing to a full contingent of people who not only cheer me on, but have boinked me in the head (repeatedly, and with vigor) when I make fatal errors.

What are friends for?

I’m not sure my improvement is due to an ah-ha light bulb moment, but one thing is for sure; the more I go through my manuscript, the more light bulbs go on.


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