Working on the second draft of a new novel, I encounter the three H.
(No, not Horrible,L Hairy,L or Hilarious.J)
Mine are HEADY, HUMBLING, and HUMILIATING.
Stephen King, in his book On Writing, recommends a long break between drafts. This is so the writer loses the memory of the exact phrasing. Although she remembers the general plot and subplot, she encounters the writing as if she is the reader. This allows the distance needed for effective revising. Mr. King takes a minimum of six weeks in between drafts.
My novels are shorter than his and my breaks have always been shorter, too. But this time I managed a few months’ break because of important family events, a revision request to a different manuscript, and various life intrusions.
Turns out a longer break is a good idea, because I really don’t recall any of the sentences I find myself going over. No mental lapse here (I think)— just the right distance where I get to be surprised at a turn of phrase or the use of a word.
And this is where the three H come in.
Heady— because some of it is downright good.
Humbling— because some of the sentences do not have the eloquence I intended.
Humiliating— because of these...these... blasted typos (!!!!!!!!!)
That’s where I am, in a nutshell. Remind me to never go back to recheck casual posts and Emails. I’m likely to stop writing those altogether, lest I can have a couple of months to revisit and revise.