Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Joys of Revision

For some writers the most enjoyable part of the process of getting a story done is the initial creative process - getting down a sketch plan of the plot, figuring out the characters and settings, and how to torture the readers with twists and turns.

For others too impatient to do the above ( altho in all honesty they've probably done this in their head but are loath to admit it) the joy comes from putting the words down, crafting phrases, sentences, paragraphs, scenes, and chapters.  Some will admit that the story takes over and tells itself as the writer provides eyes and fingers to let it flow through them.

For myself, I somewhat enjoy both of these, but don't really see that as a lot of fun.  My stories seldom flow like liquid gold, nor do they self-assemble like Lego blox.  Instead they resemble a random scattering of pieces that need to be assembled by hand and, while fitting them together, making modifications, and adding missing parts.  In a lot ways this is like building a stone fence where the various rocks are neither uniform nor regular but must be stacked into a solid structure.

My personal joy comes from making the scraps fit, of polishing the words and scenes to perfection, of mixing the mortar of flow and continuity, and making the story stand as a unified piece.

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