Not-so-Easy Does It

We all need encouragement and inspiration to write a story, but that kind of support is easy. We tell you how you have so much to say and you’ll say it so well.  We remind you that you have a unique voice, and that we can’t wait to read your work. Then we ship you off to your study or desk with everything from a plate of beans and coffee to filet mignon and a glass of wine and wait for your golden manuscript to appear. 

Okay, who said, ‘Yeah, right’?

All right, I get it. Writing isn’t that easy; neither is helping someone write. But it can be easier than the next step. Revision.

I enjoy a number of creative pursuits besides writing. One is house renovation. Ask anyone; I’d rather build a new bathroom than clean one.

BR1rough

 

Recently I heard Canadian Contractor turned YouTuber  Jeff Thorman  (Home RenoVision DIY),  remark that “Anytime we’re doing dry wall mud or any other kind of finishing, we start from rough and push toward finished.”

 

BR2partial

 

 

 

 

The concept applies to a lot of creative endeavors besides building.

 

logoFRS010115  Painting

logoFRS010115  Sculpting

logoFRS010115   Dance – even choreography starts with rough blocking of movement before it finalizes into polished dance steps and poses.

 

How often do we tell writers: Just get the first draft done; get the main story down in print. Then you can go back and rework it.

Rework it. Revise. Revision is, according to some 90% of writing. What does the process look like? Many writers work in steps.

  1. Revision 1 may be to remove all the over-used words. We each have our ‘favorites’, our personal crutches that we put in when we think there is a blank space that needs filling, eg, just, very, that. So the first pass may be to remove those unnecessary placeholders from our manuscript.
  1. The next one may be to clarify passages, put more imagery into description, add more authenticity to dialogue, more substance to characters.
  1. Revision No. 3 may be to remove the new set of over-used words. You can throw in eliminating the overworked phrases for good measure.
  1. An entire new pass to straighten out the plot tangles resulting from added material in Revision 2

And so on.

First draft, second draft, …, thirtieth draft. However many it takes to reach the point where you put down your pen and decide it is really… 

BR3nearly done

 

 

 

REALLY…

 

 

 

BR4done

…Done.

 

The list here doesn’t encompass the question of how to fix things. My next few blog posts will deal in greater detail with the agony of revision, an agony only outweighed by its value.

 


“Anytime we’re doing dry wall mud or any other kind of finishing, we start from rough and push toward finished.”

Jeff thorman Home RenoVision DIY

 

Local Author Showcase

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via Local Author ShowcaseLocalWritersShowcase2019

Everyone should have a library this supportive. Local authors are invited to sell and sign their books and meet the public at the library. Donations are made to the Friends of the Library (the supportive organization) to help meet the library’s needs. If your library doesn’t have this, you should get them to try it. It’s a win/win/win for authors, the library, and the community of readers.

A Writing School for Working People | Literary Hub

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via A Writing School for Working People | Literary Hub

Another article from Matt Grant that I wanted to share, one that I know he is excited about having written.

I’ve spent a good part of my life encouraging people to write. Writing can be profitable, but it is also good for stability, growth, and your soul. People need to feel the freedom to try their hand at it, to derive whatever benefit it gives them.

To see through writer Grant’s eyes how this school operates was both exciting and a balm to my own soul. Read it and see the good people can do.