Not many words have been added to the fiction pile the last few days. I've been working on a novel submission, writing the synopsis, boiling the story down to a few brief paragraphs. In parallel, I edited and revised the novel, mostly rhythm and cadence tweaks, and eliminated 'that' wherever I could. I use 'that' too much as a crutch word. I also sweated over trite expressions and worn descriptions, seeking more inventive language.
Those tasks are not as thrilling as just writing down the bones or capturing magic in a bottle. These sort of fiction writing tasks require a different blend of patience, energy and outlook. That needs to be so because this is going face to face with the story that poured out of me. It's a challenge to faith, rebuttal or confirmation that the story is as enjoyable or interesting as I believed when I first wrote it. Walking away afterward and not feeling sick to my stomach with despair is encouraging, as is the ability to say to myself, "Hmmm, I think this section needs a little more time." I've learned that I need to address such sections and I've learned how to address them.
I can see progress over my life's efforts. There are fewer times when I think I've found a turgid passage or think the pacing needs addressed. I believe part of this is because I've learned to be a more mindful writer, thinking out phrases, characters and situations even as I write them.
I also believe I'm a more patient writer. I've found when I'm at a loss for a word or feel challenged to complete a scene, I can leap over it and return to it later, after more of the story has flowed through me.
So I like where I'm at and where I'm going. That's important, especially after a trying week. In the end, after editing, reading and revising, I still feel there's hope.
There is a reason to still keep the faith.
And now, as a treat to myself for my revision work, I get to return to my other novel and write like crazy.
Release the craziness!
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com