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Sunday, April 25, 2010


Thirty-two chapters and counting. Backstory and I have become the best of friends because I think I've figured out what to do with a lot of what I want to keep, how to express it and weave it and ignore it to make it work. I probably could have woven a rug with the amount of time I spent this week with backstory. I put aside the direct line to the end and went backwards, forwards and sideways - well you get the idea. I scanned the book from front to back with a somewhat jaded eye and found out the pacing and plot are moving forward in a somewhat logical manner. I've been so bogged down in the words and phrases and ideas of my critique buddies, I got lost.

High on my list of "thank my lucky stars" is Wanda, a member of my Wednesday Writers critique group. Wanda and I commiserated over being lost 3/4 of the way through the revisions of our novels, and I was reminded once again, that I'm normal {as normal as I get} and right on target with feeling frustration at this point. Thanks, Wanda. I was able to get in about eight hours of revisions after we talked. Up till then, I was ready to shove the whole thing under the bed, in the drawer, or maybe through the shredder, but I'm back on track now - a little wobbly but on the track headed towards the end of the first revision. Did I say FIRST?

David Madden's book on revising is chock full of examples of revisions made by some of the greats - Welty, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Joyce, Wolfe. It's so helpful to read what they orginally wrote and how they changed it and some of them kept making changes through the printing after printing. At least there's hope for me - if rewrites are what make you famous, I'm a shoo-in.

Everything I've said today makes about as much sense as this did, but what can I say? I'm living in the 50s for the time being. I've cautioned my family to watch me if I go into a carpet store. I might buy avocado shag carpet in this frame of mind.


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