Monday, June 28, 2010

Writing, Rewriting, Rewriting, Rewriting

"Reckoning" is changing, both the planet and the story.  It was overly long at points, short on description at others.  Its new flaws will reveal themselves with revision and re-reading.  They will emerge like knots appears under the carver's hands.

Writing is an immensely enjoyable process.  I put down words and watch stories unfurl.  My problems forgotten, I revel in the joy of creation.  But it impossible to write something worth reading on the first pass.  For every moment spent writing, I spend dozens revising.  That is not an exaggeration.  It took about twenty minutes to write "Adam and the Misshapen Log".  It is now on its twentieth version (I track them, oddly enough) with each full edit taking a few hours or more.

It can be disheartening, this endless process of revision.  Happily, I have quotes from greater writers that promise a payoff in the end.

"I have rewritten- often several times- every word I have ever written.  My pencils outlast their erasers." Vladimir Nabokov

"The difference between the right and the nearly right word is the same as that between lightning and the lightning bug."  Mark Twain

So let me know, dear readers, if I have gotten at least one word right, if I have captured a little lightning in the latest revision and expansion of "Reckoning".  And then, next week, you'll watch the battle continue.

As for when it ends?  Well, I'll leave you with this:

"Books are never finished, they are merely abandoned."  Oscar Wilde

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