Getting published is a real be-yatch! Hear about my ups, downs and a few random rants in between.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Write with passion, revise with...

Something else.

As many of you know, I'm a muse writer. If the little voices in my head aren't speaking to me, no words hit the page.

When those voices are speaking (chanting) (yelling!) my world is good.

I'm passionate about what I write. So much so, I'll fall in love with the project, the characters and my story lines. When I'm writing, I always read the passage or chapter prior to the new segment in progress, to get me back into the story. And it almost never fails that I want to keep reading.

That burning desire to remain in my characters world is euphoric, kind of like a crush. You can't stop thinking about when you'll see them again and what will happen next.

Dare I say you need this passion to write well?

I hesitate to make such a broad statement. All writers have different styles and writing processes. But, being passionate definitely helps push you to the finish line. A place you may not always reach with a crush, eh?

Well, let me tell you - do not and I repeat, DO NOT attempt to edit with that same level of passion. It does not work.

Frankly, once you reach the editorial phase of your book, you may need to break down emotionally altogether...shut down, I meant shut down!

Throughout the ed phase, I've had to lecture, reprimand, and coerce myself into being objective when it came to my editor's insight.

See, my head knows perfectly well that the feedback is sound and is refining the story. She catches tiny logistics that, while passionately writing, never occured to me. Like - hey you have the character outside but never told the reader they walked out the door. She also points out areas that don't have an organic feel or gaps in the plot.

So, how come reading the feedback always sent my heart thumping?

Because I'm a total emotional reactor and am unable to squash my passionate side where my writing is concerned. Also, it's damn hard to look your flaws/weaknesses and sometimes just plain "oops" in the face.

I don't know how many times, as I sat down to revise, I had to give myself a pep talk - "You will not be defensive!" "Shut up and write, dammit" "This is making the book better."

Granted, only that last line echos anything close to encouragement. Still, those are the lines I needed to turn off my knee-jerk emotions. And they didn't always work.

Bottom line, write like there's no tomorrow. Wax on until you're exhausted. But edit like you take medicine when you're ill. It's gonna be bitter, sure. Just make that weird, screwed taking medicine face and swallow.


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