Monday, July 1, 2013


Sometimes an opening scene arises fully formed in my mind, the words so crystalline clear that it takes but seconds to get them onto the page. That done, the logic of that opening leads to another scene, one that might require backstory, which is fleshed out with little thought so I can continue with the fascinating story unfolding before my eyes.  Oh, here is a flash of insight that turns the scene, that illuminates the character, a bit of technical detail that improves the verisimilitude of the setting. Each word seems golden, each sentence a gem, and the necklaces of paragraphs are priceless jewelry.  The words come so easily, slide onto the page with so little effort that only exhaustion can take me from the keyboard. 

Almost without effort I’m a couple thousand words into a story filled with brilliant repartee, interesting character backstory, and an engaging dynamic.   I have just been cruising along without paying too much attention to my destination while I talk about the scenery.  That's when I abruptly realize that I have no idea of where this is going.  Better, I think, to sleep on it and revisit it with fresh eyes and a clear mind.  

I should have known better.  Revisiting the brilliant output of the previous day finds it less than pleasing.  It is with growing horror that I now see the mistakes, the misspellings, the bad grammar, the stark woodenness of the dialogue, not to mention the rambling narrative that goes nowhere in particular save to end a sequence of events.  How could I have been so entranced by the unfolding story in my head that I didn't see the many, many flaws, the imperfections, and the illogic of the piece?  What had I been thinking?  Had the shit fairies visited the manuscript during the night and changed my brilliant prose to this dreck?

I realize that I had been doing nothing more than composing and settle down to do the REAL writer’s work of correcting the errors and polishing the text word by word, scene by scene, and all the while hoping that those damn fairies won't visit me again.


1 comment:

Thanks for reading my blog!