Pleased at the Moment

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

I love writing fiction. At the end of a good chapter, I feel warm in the knowledge that I have done my best. The best of days is when I spend most of it writing and playing my guitar.

This morning I finished the editing process of the next novel, Forgive Us Our Trespasses. I’m glad it’s over. Editing days aren’t nearly as satisfying as writing days. I have to confront my mistakes and inconsistencies. I have to wage war against my absentmindedness. It’s hard to catch absentminded errors because I can’t imagine having made them, and it’s hard to fix what I can’t imagine having done.

It’s embarrassing to discover that I have called Frawley “Hawley,” or called him third circuit solicitor in some places and third district solicitor in others, or, for some reason, referred to a character named “Teo” as “Keon,” because, at some point, I chose one name over the other and didn’t get it straight in my mind.

By Monte Dutton
By Monte Dutton

Editing can be scary. I’m so fortunate this time. The editor was really meticulous. I went through it twice, the former to review the little changes and the latter to concentrate on the overall manuscript. I added a little dialogue and description, but it was probably about an even swap between what I deleted and what I added. The story takes a little over 100,000 words.

The other scary part is wondering, upon reviewing this huge project, if I will really like it. It would be a shame to expend all that effort and then consider it a failure. I’ve remarked to friends that I’m a little manic-depressive in my writing. While writing it, I think it’s great. Whoa, baby, I’m rolling now. The next time, I think it stinks. Oh, Christ. No one would believe that! The third time is balanced, or, at least, it seems so through my jaded perspective.

I came out of this one intact. I think my fourth novel is the best yet. It has little of me in it. That’s progress I’ve been trying to make. The trick is to create a character and know him so well that I can think through him. I can see the world through his eyes and have him do what I expect he would do under the developing circumstances. That’s the reason my story changes from first draft to submission. It’s the reason the outline is crucial. I have to keep up every time I veer off the planned route. Perhaps it’s why some find my novels rambling. Perhaps it’s why I find them fun.

At the moment, I’m so happy that I feel almost incapable of doing anything other than this blog. I’ve got another major project today, and I’m about to get on it. At the moment, though, I’m just happy.

(This graphic was designed by Meredith Pritchard)
(This graphic was designed by Meredith Pritchard)


(Joe Font cover design)
(Joe Font cover design)

Most of my books, fiction and non-, are available here:

              I write mostly sports and occasional other non-fiction ruminations at You can find me on Twitter @montedutton, slightly more irreverent @wastedpilgrim, and slightly more literary @hmdutton. Consider me for friendship on Facebook at monte.dutton, and occasionally I post doctored-up photos on Instagram at Tug50.

              Thanks ever so much for your continued support.



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