I took my car in for a check up today and found out it needed several things fixed on it including a new set of tires. So I had a decision to make. Should I invest all of this money in my car? My car is old and my philosophy has been to drive my vehicles until they fall apart. I mean, who wants to chuck out 500+ dollars a month for a car payment if you don’t have to? But I also don’t want to pay large dollar amounts every time I take it in for service. Decisions, decisions.
This same internal debate is part of a writer’s daily life. Once we have written something it comes to life for us. Which oftentimes means it’s hard for us to change it or let it go. When we think about editing we have to decide if it is the right thing to do or not. Whether it is a single scene that we love, but feel it could be that much better if we worked on it some more; or changing the name of a character. In one of my manuscripts, I changed the hero’s name three times before I settled on Noah. The name has to fit the character’s personality and when you first start writing about them you don’t really know who they are. A name that seemed perfect in chapter 1 no longer fits the character by chapter 20. Time to change names.
An even harder decision for a writer is when to put a manuscript ‘under the bed’ – meaning it is not ready (and may never be ready) to send out to agents/publishers. Not all of our writing will sell, but it doesn’t make it any less important. We learn as we write and I am a firm believer that the more you write the better you become.
While I do have some manuscripts under my bed, my Mind Sweeper series is something that I refuse to part with. The characters sing to me and the stories draw me in. So as I edit the words and scenes and chapters, I imagine my manuscripts turned into books. I examine the body and kick the tires. Everything looks good! So I move forward with my edits, which if I keep the analogy going, means I am having the car washed and detailed.
As for my actual car, it has four spanking new tires and I have less money in my bank account.