Monday, January 28, 2008
scratch that: thoughts on revision
We can all begin freely...—Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice
He waxes desperate with imagination.—Shakespeare, Hamlet
How ill I have written. I begin to hate myself.—Jane Austen, in a letter
So here I am peering at the week and at revision with a quaking heart. Iíve been asked a lot recently about how the writing is going, and I say something bright about the first draft being done, and being in revision…
And then it dawns on me yet again how daunting I find this revision phase. It actually makes me nostalgic for drafting, if you can believe that. In retrospect, it looks so linear, so lighthearted, so free.
Friday, January 11, 2008
still driving at night
I only want to write. And thereís no college for that except life.—Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle
Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.—E.L. Doctorow
So here I am, facing a new semester of my tailor-made ďgraduate school,Ē where the next class is: Rewriting Your First Novel.
It is exciting to sit with the bulky, edge-tattered manuscript on my lap, and say to my sister: Pick a spot, and Iíll start reading! Itís a familiar bulk, too. While I was editing manuscripts for Winepress and Zondervan, I always had at least one huge stack of pages, rubber-banded together, which makes this current stack a bit less daunting. (When I took my editing work to Barnes and Noble, I would sometimes take the manuscript out of my bag and walk it up and down the aisles, just to show it that it would, one day, be a real book, too.)
Itís a little trickier to believe that for my own manuscript. (Though maybe I should walk it through Borders one of these days? Couldnít hurt…)
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
to every calendar (turn, turn, turn)
O, there has been much throwing about of brains.—Shakespeare
So Iím looking at the end of another year—another year! Hard to believe, since there were some days late in the year when I still wrote 2006 instead of 2007, and Iím sure to mess up 2008 for the first month or so.
December was a crammed-full month: three road trips to Nebraska to see my younger sister, and then a fourth trip to a wedding in Ohio. Lots of writing on the road this month! Sandwiched around rest stops and road food. And then the holidays came and went, and we had a very brown Christmas here, making me wish for a Grand Rapids snowfall.