Saturday, August 01, 2009

Waiting and Working

With the kids home for two more weeks, I'm desperately waiting for school to start. Meanwhile, I'm attempting to write/revise between requests to play on the computer, to play on the Wii, and to fix some food. While my head is in the right place for revisions, I'm trying to get as much done as possible.

It's kind of like when you are in the right mood to go through old stuff. The wrong mood is where you sit and look through the box and think I should really keep this ticket for The Bird Cage. I don't remember who I went with or why I decided to keep it, but I should keep it anyway, because it's sentimental. Hey, my old pair of earphones that only play out of one side. Maybe I can use them again.

The right mood is you pull the box over to the trash can and start pitching. That ticket to The Bird Cage, gone. Broken earphones, gone.

I've been in the wrong mood to revise for a long time. I wrote this book and though I know it needs revising, I don't even know where to begin. Now I'm in the right mood. A friend went over the first bit and pointed out, not grammar or spelling errors, but plotting errors or places where the tension was lagging. While I love when people correct my commas and my accidental word choices, I prefer the type that my friend gave me. It made me open my eyes and really look at what I'd written as a whole and not as a sentence here and there. The scene after her corrections I just finished revising. I'd had it in the heroine's POV, but it really needed to be in the hero's to show his conflict at that time. Though I loved some lines in her POV, I took them out.

Okay before I type this if you've never heard it before I'm not a sadistic person, really. But there are times when you need to Kill Your Darlings. I'm not the first to say this, nor do I expect to be the last. If it doesn't fit, if it doesn't move the story forward, if it is the most brilliant piece of tripe you've ever written, but doesn't do anything for the characters, CUT IT! Move it into a file for special circumstances, just in case you can use it, but get rid of it in this story. It's like throwing away those old earphones and that movie ticket. They are taking up space and while they may work for something else, they aren't working for you.

So while I spend the rest of the day wishing my kids were in school, I'll be killing my darlings in my MS.

1 comment:

Annie said...

Hi, Long time no see!
Today, is the first day of school here, but I don't have any kids to wish away....I mean into their classrooms. I'm glad you are in the right mind set to revise and your friend help you see your plot better.