I’ve read a lot of writing craft books in my life, but until recently, none of these were about revision.
The reason being because, until recently, I never had a completed, novel-length work in need of revising.
Never being the sort put the proverbial cart before the horse, I always wanted my education in writing to occur in an orderly sequence, comprising only those aspects of which I’d have immediate use. This way of thinking served me well for the past 16 years, less the six of those I temporarily gave up writing altogether.
In March, I completed the second draft of my historical fiction WIP.
I’ve done shit all writing-wise since.
Not that those who read my blog don’t get a sample of my writing every week.
And not just a small sample either. I’m hardly one to skimp on either my words or the ideas conveyed with them.
No one has ever accused my writing style of being “spare”. In university, I played the usual word-processor tricks with font size and margins, but in my case it was because my reports were always too long, not too short.
Thirty-one chapters rewritten and accounted for
It took an entire year.
In not even counting the two months where I purposely did no writing at all, it took an entire year to write the second draft of my historical fiction novel-in-progress, which amounted to a complete rewrite of my first draft.
It took longer to write than the first draft itself, which I completed in 10 months back in in 2005.
The year 2016 knocked the wind out of a lot of people’s sails.
Politically, it showed considerable regression in the progress of equality and human rights.
A seemingly inordinate number of notable figures and celebrities passed away, many surprisingly young, which suggests we haven’t come as far in disease prevention, mental health treatment, and drug harm reduction as we may have thought.
The historical fiction shelf you won’t find in most bookstores and libraries
The problem with historical fiction is that it’s not actually genre.
Not the way romance or mystery or thriller are genres.
There are no defining characteristics – no genre conventions – of historical fiction other than the story taking place in a non-contemporary time period in which the manners, social conditions, and other details of the era are clearly depicted.
I take great joy in planning my summers every year.
Even if I’m not expecting to do anything noteworthy or conventionally exciting, the thought of longer, warmer days and a bit of time off to do as I will to fill them is invaluable in helping me make it through the winter.
Admittedly, winter in Vancouver is mildest that Canada has to offer. I really have nothing to complain about by comparison.