Writing Wrongs

March 10, 2007

So I had this really great idea Ö

I swear, it sounded sane and wonderful and exactly the thing to do to try to take writing to the next level. I searched through my various craft books, but couldnít locate the one it was in. I searched online, because have Google, will travel. I found the essence of it over at Page One by the man himself:

Remember how we used to write? We'd take the stack of pages, mark them up, and then have to retype every last one of them. While retyping, new thoughts would occur, a line or sentence or word would lead us to a new scene or metaphor...whatever it was, the writing would inspire writing.

Sure, it takes more time, but any writer who thinks getting it done sooner is a positive should reconsider her position. Deadlines, contests, whatever excuses I hear are only that: excuses, not valid reasons.

If the screen is off, if you're not looking at what you're writing, but are concentrating on what you're writing (and if you don't see the difference, well, I will when you submit the manuscript) Ö.

Ouch. This is Michael Seidman and he is not without opinion, as you can see. So I thought, gee, Iíll try that with the new part I of The Boysí Club. What could it hurt?

My wrist, my head, my brain.

But damn it all, it works. Itís slow (God, is it slow), but it works. Iíve inserted new phrasing, I cut a whole freaking scene when I realized the elements I needed would actually enhance the following scene.

And. So. On.

Thing is, I edit on the page already. Print, edit, print, edit. I run scenes through ReadPlease and listen to them. I donít think Iím a total slacker when it comes to revision.

Still, I wonder if this is simply working harder, not smarter. But. Something tells me it isnít. Something tells me that those things I caught today I wouldíve never caught, ever, if I hadnít tried it this way.

So for now Iím going to work harder (and slower) not faster (the juryís still out on smarter).

Charity Tahmaseb wrote at 4:43 p.m.