Monday, March 19, 2012

On the Re-Write, Fixing the book once the creative rush is over

I am re-writing the first Silverton Cozy Mystery, tentatively titled “Henry loses her Beau.” I’m struggling and kicking against the re-write process even as I know it’s necessary, artistically and morally good (gives me backbone).

But truthfully, I want to leave that book -- consider it written, and go on to the next creative outpouring. Fixing punctuation, introducing scenes, or connecting them, or moving them around, is not nearly as exciting as writing them in the first place.

The dilemma is to find satisfaction in the process of fixing, completing, polishing, finishing. Logically I know the re-write is the actual making of Art. As a painter I know that putting on paint is only the foundation. The artwork comes in deciding what to leave in and what to take out.

Having a friend who wanted to read and isn’t afraid to give advice was a big boost. I had given the “book” to a couple people who assured me they wanted to read and edit, but their offers were bigger than their follow-through. (One of them did half of it for punctuation.)

So when this person said she was excited to read it and would print out the whole thing in book form in her office... This gave me the push to go through with line editing, and do some re-writing I knew was necessary - cleaning up the verb tenses (make parts of it all Past, and the other parts all Present).

Then I had to rewrite the first two “chapters” into the third person. Even though I loved the immediacy of beginning with the First Person “I.” But I couldn't sustain it throughout, so I took the main character Henry’s direct voice away. (And I hated doing that.)

This week I am going to the Community College to hunt for a student editor. Non-independent, non-self-publishers (before the ebook revolution) were fortunate to have editors with their publishers. We indies are not so lucky. Got to find our own. Yes, got to.

photo is from Flickr Creative Commons, Dutch children in school, Government Archives

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

on writing - and re-writing and editing

Because I jammed out my first Silverton Cozy Mystery in a month, it's a mess. Everyday I sat down and cranked out my 1500 words, but often I didn't remember what had come before. So it jumps around and parts are disconnected, or simply need a little place and time introduction (as my friend "editor" has told me).

I didn't want to spend more than a month re-writing. After all, I read about writers who NEVER re-write and ones who get novels out in a month, or 2, or 3. Then I read some more about one of the writer's who supposedly didn't rewrite, and it turns out that he started with short stories and did one a week. But that story was written the first day of the week, and re-written the days following and submitted for publication at the end of the week.

(Ray Bradbury, such a great guy, I hope you watched the videos of him talking that I posted, or look him up on YouTube.)

Now I've started the second Cozy (both of them read as much like Chick-Lit as mystery). Because I am too impatient and want to get on with the fun part...creative writing. Not re-working what I've already done. But it's necessary. I've pawned the draft off on friends and now am going to the junior college to see if I can find a poor and grateful student to work it for me.

photo is writing on glass in a group study room in the Swem Library.