Spotlight on Writing

You may have read my last post, where I finished the last chapter of Darkness, Set Us Free. Now I’m onto editing. As is so often the case with the first set of edits, I’m finding it more challenging and time-consuming than actually writing the book. Some chapters I fly through, and barely anything needs changing. Others take forever. Shuffling paragraphs, finding inventive ways to rephrase a clunky sentence, and deepening emotional scenes (of which there are many). I breathed a sigh of relief as I completed the structural edits to some of the early chapters, which I had already pegged as problematic. I thought, rather naïvely: After this, it only gets better.

Alas, I couldn’t be more wrong.

With this book, more so than our other books, each chapter is so intricately woven together that even the slightest change, sometimes only a sentence, has a huge impact. The book is like dominoes. You take one out and suddenly the whole line is broken, and things don’t fall perfectly anymore.

It puts the pressure on to find the perfect combination of words; to warp the truth in such a specific way that each character is both simultaneously in the right, and in the wrong. To make it so that each is the hero in their own story, even if they’re a villain in someone else’s.

It is challenging work. But, in doing so, I gain a greater appreciation of the (unusual) first person multi-perspective narrative that we’ve chosen for our book: One event can cause a cascade, and the effect of that cascade is felt through every member of a group. Each group member perceives and interprets the event in deeply personal ways, and their resultant actions can either overcome the event or multiply their problems. It highlights how a simple miscommunication can cause catastrophe.

The edits on Darkness, Set Us Free are much like the dominoes pictured here: falling in motion, a disastrous cascade of events where everything must line up.
Personal Update

My next nursing course has started, and it is one heck of a lot of reading. I calculated that I need to read approximately twenty-five pages of my textbook per day to get through the copious course readings, plus the numerous learning activities, to give myself enough revision time before the exam. That doesn’t sound like much, but you’ve got to remember the size of these books, not to mention the (size 10?) miniscule font. The thing is a monster.

This monster book has been filling my mind and keeping me from manuscript edits. Large textbook pictured, open midway and splayed out on a brown leather couch.

Unfortunately, that does mean my brain is almost exploding by the time I sit down to do manuscript edits at the end of the day.

Ah well. Such is life.

Study does occasionally reward me with funny moments. I had a surprisingly good time watching the required videos of pediatric growth stages.

When interviewing a child about whether they were scared of needles, this one five–year–old girl diverts off the topic of conversation (as five–year–olds are apt to do) and says, matter–of–factly, “There was a shark in the sink. It had sharp teeth, but it wasn’t scary.”

The interviewer (confused) “…a…a shark in the sink?”

All I can say is, kids. They are hilarious.

P.S – For those of you who are in NZ, when this post comes out, it will be Tuesday, May 12. Which happens to be International Nurses’ Day. So be extra nice to any nurses you know. They work pretty darn hard!