The dank, dark world of editing…

Perhaps it’s time to write a little something here. As it is, I had a couple of posts up but I deleted them on one of those (far too frequent) days when I decided that me writing was about as useful as mites on a chicken. And no doubt I’ll delete this post as well, the next time I have a fit of self-pity. But anyway, for today… Let’s see where this takes us.

I’ve almost finished the first edit of the book I started writing in January, Darkness Falls. I had the ending for this book in my head for about a year before I started writing it. That ending came to me after I finished reading Clive Barker’s amazing, depressing, inspiring Weaveworld. Whenever I read beautiful things like that, I get this urge to write a masterpiece of my own. Something big and beautiful and epic with lots of emotion and lots of darkness. Yeah… And then I start and it turns out to be all about a handful of little characters, focussing on their little lives and little emotions and even littler ambitions. I don’t do action. I don’t do awesome. All I do is introspection.

Well, at least the intention was there. As well as Weaveworld, Darkness Falls has been touched by other works that moved me – Dan Simmons’ Hyperion and Endymion books (I cried towards the end of Rise of Endymion – I’ll admit it); Isobelle Carmody’s Obernewtyn chronicles; the madness that was Iain Banks’ novels (his death is a huge loss to all fans of spec fiction); the black and disturbingly funny works of Jason Franks (published and not yet published – but they will be; I have no doubt).

When I started writing it, I imagined our world, but with all the badness and meanness and pettiness brought to the forefront. Where everyone you met had some dirty little secret that they’d much rather stayed hidden. I expected it to be dark. I wanted it to be disturbing, and wrong. And it is that – the things that I’ve ended up visualising in my characters’ minds and pasts are dark; darker than I expected and more wrong that I imagined myself able to imagine, if that makes sense. Which is not a bad thing, except that there’s also a love story running through it all (and thank goodness I don’t have a lot of contact with people that knew me back when I was young – I was always rather cynical; this could be most embarrassing!) which I’m worried isn’t in keeping with the rest of the story, and yet can’t for the life of me see myself writing out.

I guess what I was half hoping in some secret little place in my soul was that I could make disturbing beautiful, the way those authors I mentioned earlier do. That I could write poetry in book form (certainly can’t do it in any other form). That I could give people a glimpse of lives that I have no experience in, and yet make them believe and be repulsed. And imagine themselves, just for a moment, existing in such lives. Making those choices. Causing the destruction I describe.

Futile, I know. As futile as the drive that made me start writing in the first place.

But anyway, I digress. Two chapters left in my first edit. Then, while I have some sense of the strange rhythm of this story still in my head, I’d like to do a second edit; introduce some of the structural changes the couple of people editing with me have suggested. I plan to do that by the end of July, before uni takes over again. My writing may be futile, but at least I have goals; that’s got to count for something :).

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