By Kariss Lynch
When seasons change, I celebrate. In general, I struggle with change, but something about nature changing and ushering in something new is exciting and familiar, even as things shift.
As an adult, fall has become my favorite season. I love the color of the leaves changing, the crisp mornings and evenings, cozy drinks, firepits, and the permission to slow down just a bit when the sky darkens earlier.
But I find it ironic that I celebrate and find beauty in that which is ultimately dying. The leaves change color so they can fall, the trees remain bare, and then rest until they bloom again in the spring. It’s nature’s way of pruning and making way for something vibrant and whole in a different season.
I’m learning that in my writing, as well. My current work in process is undergoing its own change of leaves. I’ve spent months agonizing over how to edit this book. Some friends and mentors encouraged cutting the first chapter. Others said to keep. Some story lines felt too convoluted. Others needed more depth.
I wrestled with what to prune, what to keep. I originally wrote this story in a season where I lost several family members and two others were diagnosed with cancer. Then I set it aside for some time. As I edit now, I’m realizing that the first couple drafts of this story existed for me. And now, as the leaves change outside my window, they are falling in my novel, as well. Beautiful and necessary for the season they served but making way for something even better.
That’s the way I think we have to view our editing. It’s hard to take the feedback of friends and mentors. It’s hard to hear that some things, while beautiful in and of themselves, may just not add to the story. It’s hard to take the steps necessary to rake the old away. But it makes our stories better. It makes us better.
I believe our words in every season serve a purpose. Sometimes they are words meant for us as we process through the themes and characters in our story. And sometimes they are meant for the readers. As for me, the leaves are falling and being blown away. I’m delighting in the fall, and I’m excited for the story emerging for release.
How do you approach the editing process?
Kariss Lynch is the author of the Heart of a Warrior series and loves writing about characters with big dreams, adventurous hearts, and enduring hope. In her free time, Kariss goes on adventures with her own handsome hero, explores the great outdoors, and tries not to plot five stories at once. Connect with her at karisslynch.com, or on Facebook, Instagram, or Goodreads.