I spent this weekend revising a novel. When I get to a certain stage in a manuscript, I really like to edit it all at once, without stopping at various points to deal with other responsibilities. I have a “room of my own” (aka a home office) at my house, as Virginia Woolf advised, but life still seems to find me there. So on Friday night, I drove to the Wilbur hotel in Lititz, PA. I stayed until Monday morning.
Having two full days to immerse myself in editing felt fantastic. I made it through the entire 52,000 word manuscript and did some serious work (like I managed to cut an entire chapter and redistribute key plot points elsewhere — and it was very clear to me that the chapter needed to go. I love feeling that clarity!). Because I was editing all at once, I could see that I was repeating some musings from earlier at a different point. I kept notes of proper names so I could make sure I was staying consistent.
And Lititz itself provided ambiance. Much of the story is set in a fictional place called Winston, Indiana, but it is a small town and Lititz is a very cute small town and it helped me picture what certain things might be like. I ate at a few nice restaurants (though I was trying to have stuff for lunch and snacks in the room so I wouldn’t have to leave at inopportune points!). I admired some historic architecture as I took my occasional breaks to walk around.
I am pretty much at my happiest in life when I am deep in a manuscript and I’m working on it and I can see I’m making it better. I love playing around with words and finding the best way to convey things and describe things. I try to create this flow state sometimes in my normal work days but it is always going to be limited. Being in that state for a few days allowed me to really enter my characters’ world. I find it to be an interesting place! Hopefully others will too.
In other news: On Friday my daughter successfully got her ears pierced. The lady who did the piercing was very calm and reassuring and we got some very cute blue flower shaped studs. So I feel like we survived that rite of passage.