The process of editing is exhausting. Late nights and early mornings. Dozens of cups of coffee. Reading, rereading, and reading again, proofing for errors, fixing every mistake and catching any inconsistency that may cause a reader to stop and say huh? Bleary eyed and losing focus, only to slap the life back into your cheeks so you can keep going.
That is the long haul. The distance run that occupies my days and nights. Long after my kids go to bed and my husband falls asleep next to me, I sit with the blue screen of my laptop casting a shadow on my face, determined, fighting fatigue, only to read one more line. Write one more word. Fix that sentence just so, so the reader can accurately understand the character's mind and motivation.
It's almost comical. I've nearly forgotten what sleep is. The reason is not only writing into the early morning hours of the day but the constant barrage of intersecting thoughts and images, new ideas, new plots, new characters and story lines. I never stop. My mind is constantly on the go.
I wake in the morning, eager to open my laptop and write the next chapter. Happy, disgusted, terrified, or sad, adopting the emotions of my beloved hero or heroine, excited to take them on the next journey. My fingers fly across the keys, typing with enthusiasm, hardly able to contain my excitement.
As a writer of romance, I find the greatest joy and largest challenge is to keep the love interest and chemistry between my characters at the forefront of the book. It's the main theme. The most important aspect of the novel. If nothing else, the reader should never be in doubt of the connection between the lovers, through strife and indecision, chaos and uncertainty, and the struggle of life, against all odds.
That's where the editing process comes in, the long and arduous task of completing the vision. The monumental undertaking of ensuring a successful story. It's all subjective. The reader may hate the plot or love it, enjoy the romance or be disgusted by it. That's the thing about romance, the unpredictable nature of the heart, no two people view it the same. It's as beautiful and mysterious as any one person's desire.
The part I love, the unmistakable thrill, is the development of my imagination, my spin on the romantic relationship between the characters. I enjoy the friction, the longing, the drive to pursue it to completion. I can't wait to see where they go, what interaction they have, and how they fulfill their ultimate conquest.
I'm in it for the long haul.
Until next time my friends, keep writing!