Monday, June 18, 2007
Revising, Part Two
Last week I referred to the continuum of emotions about revising and said I was closer to the "root canal" end than I'd like to be--I'm happy to report that I persevered anyway and made good progress (2500+ words). I took the whole RE-VISION mantra to heart and allowed myself to drift in the mind of my main character (and no, while it might have looked like all I was accomplishing was upping my winning percentage on Spider 2 solitaire, be assured, I was working. Slaving away.)
So much of writing is about control--I get to orchestrate the lives of the characters, I pick the setting, I determine the conflicts, I get to resolve the issues. I even pick names. I set writing schedules for myself, I tally word count, I run spell-check, I choose who I ask to read drafts. And I like being in charge. I mean, so much of our lives we aren't bosses of--even when we think we are (if you don't believe me, have a teenager. Or five. Toss in a golden retriever). However, when it come to revision, I find I have to cede that control a bit. I have to slow down, let my mind wander (maybe play some solitaire--thanks Kristy!--), and let the story take over. In doing so, I discover what the characters want me to know and where the story needs to go without my pulling all the strings.
So, this week I'm following Kate and Virginia where they want to go. I'll let them tug at my sleeve and whisper their truths to me in the early light of morning and softening darkness of twilight. And I'll make sure their truth flows through my pen.