The reasons for this blog: 1. To provide basic author information for students, teachers, librarians, etc. (Please see sidebar) 2. I think out loud a lot as I work through writing projects, and I'm trying to dump most of those thoughts here rather than on my friends.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Last night I realized that if I just kept on moving forward this morning, I'd get fuzzily off track and spin my wheels. So I printed out the first 30 or so pages. Today I read about half of that, made some corrections, and typed most of them in.

The story is not changing. The same basic things are happening in the same basic order. What's changing is everything else: wording, pacing, characterization, tone, depth, theme. So every little time I get off track, it's BAD. This story could branch off in a hundred ways, and every one of those ways could branch off in a hundred other ways. If I don't nip the branching-off in the bud every time it starts, I'm going to end up with an unpublishable piece of crap.

If I tried to explain this to a wannabe writer who has never done a true rip-your-guts-out revision, they wouldn't understand. But I'm telling you, this kind of revision is what makes the difference between something that belongs in a drawer and something that is fit to sit on a shelf. That's not to say whether this ms will ever have the uniqueness to qualify for shelf space. But it's going to have writing sharp enough to qualify, if I have to nip, backtrack, rethink, and rewrite for the next few decades, one stinkin' syllable at a time.

Blog Archive