Proofreading is not something I enjoy. Well, when reading my own work. You see, it’s the part of writing that is more technical, more calculated. It’s difficult. However, proofreading provides something for me that I didn’t expect the first time I proofread my first novel- I fell in love with the story all over again. I can go back, change what I wrote, re-examine what I was trying to do, and understand all my characters one more time. I often find myself getting so involved in the story of it all that I forget to proofread and have to go and backtrack.
Now, I’m not saying this with ego. I just…get involved. Most of the time, I get too involved. Often, I’ll be thrown into depression, or apathy, or whatever my particular protagonist is feeling at the moment. When I was proofreading Backwards Epiphany (it should be ready for Kindle within a month) the main character is very somber, very sad. Selfish, brutal. I found myself more masochistic, often degrading myself verbally, or mentally. At times, I would push myself to the limits of pain or exertion, often fasting, or going without water. Just to understand my character better. Or maybe my character was raping me with his personality.
Geneslave, my magnum opus, is the current book I am proofreading (don’t worry, I will be talking about both novels and how fucking awesome they are and why you should read them later) and I must tell you, I’m getting caught up in the story again. The violence, the struggle, the duality, the betrayal, the sheer driving force of the plot and its characters. It makes proofreading a Hell of a lot more bearable when you’re enjoying the story.
What do you do? Novelists out there? Short story writers? Poets? How involved do you get in your work? Sometimes I feel like I’m just bleeding, or cumming, or screaming onto the page when I write. My mind twists up, and the story spills forth like filthy water from a used up sponge. Does your story seduce you all over again? Does it terrify you? Excite you? Can you feel the pulse of your story? I can, I can feel it.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m writing stories for pleasure, or because my mind can’t hold these stories. I also wonder if these stories are just urges and fantasies that go unfulfilled. Is writing therapy? Is it art? Is it both? Who knows. And that’s what’s so fuckin’ exciting.