I spent this last week finishing a new draft of my wild west steampunk adventure, Lightning Wolves. This new draft was based on notes from my editor and one of my beta readers. Lightning Wolves continues the story of Owl Dance. It’s a story about trying new things and learning from the experience. It’s also a novel about bicycles.
Some things in life are like riding bicycles. The activities become so ingrained that you can pick them up years later, even if you haven’t practiced them. I’d argue that writing is more like competitive bicycling. You need to keep practicing and pushing yourself to make yourself better. You need the input of a good coach to help you see the mistakes you make so you become more effective. Editors and beta readers are like coaches to the writer.
As with previous novels, the process of making a revision based on the notes of others is both exasperating and wonderful. It’s exasperating, because I see those places where characters did things that didn’t make sense. I see all the places where I didn’t describe things clearly or where I was inconsistent with other places in the manuscript.
It’s wonderful because every time I go through this process, I learn something more that helps me grow as a writer. Of course, while it’s embarrassing to have these problems pointed out at this point, it would be that much worse to have those issues pointed out in a review after publication. I am definitely thankful for the work of editors!
Now that I’ve turned in the manuscript, I’m reminded of my days in high school and college when I turned in an assignment and I’m waiting for the teacher to let me know how I did. I’m admittedly a bit nervous, but I also know that whatever happens, I will endeavor to learn from the experience.