I have the pleasure today to host Eve Lopez on her blog tour for her novel, Sex, Drugs and Psychiatric Wards. I love her writing style, and I'm sure you will too. So, without further delay, I give you Eve!
How Editing My Book Nearly Killed Me
Writing can be thrilling. When the right words flow from your fingertips like hot molten lava from the mountains of the writing gods, it's like being on a high. Chemicals fire off in your brain; you're filled with a type of euphoria and that's when you think to yourself: Ah, now I know why I write.
Editing one's own work is an exercise in torture. Even after you've done the heavy-duty editing where you find inconsistencies and plot holes, there is still the copyedit and the line edit and the proofing to be done.
Doing those first edits on your book were HORRIBLE! A character walks into a bar wearing jeans. She walks out of the bar wearing a dress. The horror! The horror!
And even after fixing all of that horrible stuff, there you are, in front of your computer, finding typos even after you've proofed and line-edited, and had other people also proof it.
Every time you find ANOTHER typo, you wonder if some sick and twisted soul is actually sneaking in and putting them there on purpose. Some dark and evil being who is hell-bent on destroying you via misspellings.
Editing is dangerous to one's health.
For example, let's just say you're holed up in some dank hotel room in a godforsaken Southeast Asian country, and you have SWORN to yourself that your novel will be finished by the time your flight leaves and you go back home. You've been backpacking for four months and simultaneously finishing your first novel.
You have just a few days left before your flight back to the U.S.
And then you find another typo in your manuscript.
You consider your options, and they look like this:
1. Bash your head against the wall.
2. Bash your head against your laptop.
3. Fling yourself off the fifth-floor balcony.
Eventually, you reject all of these options because the fact is, each of them is going to impede your ability to finish editing your manuscript.
That's when your mind wanders to your frenemy Alcohol.
You know that writing while drunk can actually lead to some pretty good stuff. Bukowski did it! Hemingway did it! You're pretty sure that Candace Bushnell did it, and you LOVE her work.
"Writing While Drunk" is okay.
But editing -- that's got to be done sober. You know this because you have been a professional editor for various companies for 10 years. There is NO way anyone can edit while intoxicated. Editing requires complete concentration and zero distractions.
And so you grit your teeth and splash cold water over your face. You take deep breaths and try to do something that Elizabeth Gilbert would do.
What would Liz do? She would meditate, first off. She would sit in the garden with a peaceful, zen-like smile on her face. Then she'd go and have hot sex with her hot husband.
And then she'd probably go into the center of the capital city of the godforsaken country you yourself are in, and she'd make friends with Buddhists and children, and the light of the universe would fall over her lovely face and the golden locks of hair.
And then she'd go back and finish editing her book, with nary a drop of alcohol in sight.
You, however, are not Elizabeth Gilbert.
And so after you've finished YET ANOTHER edit, you get drunk and you lose precious hours that could have been spent editing (you have a self-imposed deadline and your flight leaves in just a couple of days).
The next day, you wake up hungover and you take a bath. You drink some coffee.
You open up your computer again.
And you do what must be done, because you have no other choice.
You start another line edit from the very beginning, stone cold sober.
About the Novel:
This is a graphic coming-of-age tale of a fragile young woman entering a notorious party college in California and encountering a world of drug-fueled parties, obsessive bar-hopping, and countless encounters with the opposite sex. After a series of events involving drugs, alcohol, and men, the young woman descends into a series of mental breakdowns.
About the Author:
Eve Lopez was born and raised in the suburbs of Los Angeles. She is a graduate of Chico State University in California. Her first novel, Sex, Drugs, and Psychiatric Wards was edited while sober. Some chapters, however, were written while the author was drunk off her ass.
Enter the Goodreads giveaway contest (ending on April 25, 2012) to win an autographed paperback copy of the novel.
You can stalk Eve on Twitter @eveoverseas or visit her at http://thingsevewoulddo.