Now that Firehurler is in the final stages of editing, I think it’s a good time to reflect back a bit on how I got here. This is the first full-length novel I’ve ever written, and I can’t say whether or not it met my expectations, because I went into the whole thing fairly blindly to start out. I had an old manuscript that I had started on some 10 years ago before setting it aside, and I was determined to see it through. I plodded onward, one chapter at a time, rounding up the stray snippets of the story that had been floating about in my head all those intervening years and nailing their feet down to the pages. At first it was odd seeing all those scenes that had played, rewound, and played again in my head, all neatly typed up and official-looking; I lost the freedom to keep changing them at will, but gained perspective and footholds for figuring out those nebulous bits that needed to go in between major plot points.
In a way, I approached the first draft of Firehurler like climbing a mountain: I just keep moving upward, never backtracking, knowing that if I just persisted long enough, I’d reach the end (err, summit). But if writing a book is like hiking up a mountain, editing it is like going back and paving a road up along the same trail. You have to keep a smooth grade, make sure there are guard rails, the signage is clear, and if you have any hairpin turns, make sure they’re banked. Those bits of scenery you glanced at on the way up? Get used to them, you’ll be seeing them all again…at length.