So we had a busy weekend.
I don’t know if you have a writing partner or not. Matter of fact, if you’re a fiction writer I have no idea what a writing partner would even do. Read and criticize and sort of provide feedback, I guess, unless you’re collaborating. Readers I got. Feedback I can get from anywhere, and valuable stuff too. But a writing partner?
Well, writing non-fiction has opened my eyes to a couple of things. One is how important a writing partner can be. See, this was supposed to be an easy project. Take the book I’ve already written and make it simple, put the info into bite-sized (byte-sized?) steps, and voila! New book. But it hasn’t panned out that way. Not even close.
What I’m seeing is a desperate need for help. That’s a need my writing partner fills which I didn’t even know I had.
My writing partner is sharp, organized, and knows what we need to get accomplished. My writing partner is serious-minded, and makes helpful suggestions. My writing partner also challenges me to do better, to reach farther, to stretch and grow. I’m a better editor for this project than you can imagine. I bet if you sent me your fiction I’d send back a stump, cut down to the bone, not an unnecessary word on it. I bet, matter of fact, I can edit rings around most of you now, and it’s all because of this project and the way my writing partner is helping me think about streamlining.
Who’s this amazing partner? Well, duh. It’s my wife.
She’s done an amazing job, and because of that hard work and commitment, she’s a couple of chapters ahead of me in our project. Because of her challenges to me as an editor and writer, I edited and prepped the better part of three chapters this weekend alone, which included taking extant chapters and dumping unnecessary material, trimming what’s left and combining introductions, rewriting steps, and just…working.
But the rewards are great. If we can finish one chapter this week, among all the other things we have to do during the week, I’m certain I can do another two to three this weekend. And we’re coming into the part of the book both she and I feel will be easier to do. It’s no mean feat taking this subject and sort of chewing it up to bits and vomiting it out in easily-digestible and task-oriented steps. But it’s happening. There’s a lot of room for exposition in the other series of books, for which this one was originally penned. But in this series, it’s tiny, small, simple, few. And that’s not as easy as it sounds. The trick is to find the parts which say what it is and how to do it and leaving the rest off. This is also how we figure out what needs to be said and where we can cheat it in.
Overall, a good weekend. But there are many busy weekends ahead for me and my amazing writing partner.
If you’re a writer and don’t have one, you’re missing out. Get you one.
Copyright 2011 DarcKnyt, All rights reserved