new beginning


A Pavane, Edwin Austin Abbey

7064, A Lamentation of Swans. During NaNo, I don’t bother with the subtleties of craft or technique–dialogue takes place in a void–not even talking heads, just talking mouths in the midst of lots of white space, settings are vague, sketchy at best, characters are walking-talking stick figures, scenes are shapeless, amoebic; I end up with a Frankenstein manuscript and I’m happy to have it. But that means arduous rewriting that will make me gloomy, and I don’t like being gloomy.

November is the only month where the writing is loosey-goosey. All I want is one more manuscript. I tuck it in the files and let it age. I’ll get back to it.

The rest of the year–whatever I’m writing–requires I pay attention to every word. The aim is to finish the story and get every word of it right. That’s how it is with A Lamentation of Swans. I write in layers, scene by scene. The first draft of a scene must be as close to a polished finish as I can get it–I will rework and revise a sentence until it fits. Then other details, of setting, character, action, shading, deepening, polishing, follow with each pass of the pen, an accretion of words. I like to rewrite while I write. It’s slow-going, but I know I’ll be happier when I reach the end, and feel that I’ve written a good story well . When I re-read Loose Daddy, for example,  I can’t complain when I reach the end. That’s how I like it. That’s how it’ll be with A Lamentation of Swans.

Yeah. Good luck with that.


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