Podcasting has brought about a very intriguing element to my editing process. Yes, I understand that not every chapter I read aloud is picture-perfect; occasionally I read a phrase, grimace through it, and keep going. I don’t have an official editor, and I know the magic they can perform on a novel. My biggest goal is just to tell the story, and tell the story right.
But what’s been really intriguing for me is not actually doing the readings, but listening to my own stuff afterward. I always listen to the podcast before I upload it and let it go live, and it has to pass my own test first. #9 was great–I really felt it moved well, was paced well, and entertaining.
That said, I’ve been working on a chapter that, until a few days ago, I thought was solid. I thought the pacing was good, the action exciting, the dialogue and secrets and mysteries engaging.
Then I listened to it.
And now, I’m not sure the chapter even needs to be there at all.
Or at least, part of me says that. The other part of me says, “Finish the damned edit, and then look back.” But that’s the problem: I’ve got to read this chapter for the podcast. What happens is important, though it could (honestly) be relegated to a short flashback/paragraph of explanation. So do I fix it now, and read the next chapter (one of the benefits of writing a multi-POV is that I can mess with chapter order if I want to)? Or, do I read it as is, with the caveat that it’s likely not going to appear in the final version? But do I risk the readers/listeners losing track of the POV, Cora’s, by having the story told in another POV (which will happen, if I do it the other way)… or… baaaah.
Fecked if I know, as Sir Din might say.
Suffice it to say Podcast #10 might take a little longer than anticipated to get to your ears. I’m working on it. I’m honestly leaning toward leaving it be, at the moment, and letting people decide. As I head into the center of the book, my standards are getting a lot more strict, I suppose.
Din lowered her voice, “You’ve got to understand me, Brickley,” she said. “These men and women—they are mine. I have shaped them, I have trained them. One loose cog in the mechanism, and people die. We all go through hardships—we all lose people, and feel our hearts squeezed to the point of despair over it. But we move on. We have to. Because we are the Order of the Asp—and by gods, if we don’t do our job, no one else will. And the world would be a much darker place.”