13 Feb 2011

The hardship of rewriting ...

I'm sitting here with a manuscript I've gotten back from my editor. And although I very much appreciate her feedback and enduring encouragement, as well as her sense of language and drama - I'm not happy right now. It'll pass as soon as I've done the necessary rewriting - I'm sure - but I do not like it.
Some writers love rewriting, going over their words over and over again, cutting here, tweaking there - and I do. Sometimes. But mostly when it's done.
The rewriting is something that only you can do on your own manuscript. There's no substitute because the vision is yours and yours alone. So you have to accept all of it, all of the work going into a mansucript, everythying - warts and all.
These are warts from the manuscript: What time of year is this, and please write something about the nature. What are they wearing? Too much repetition. More drama and feeling (that's a popular one), more horror and fear. Another popular one is: no, no, no! Or you can't have person A doing ... when person B is ....
The list goes on.
Every time I figured that now I've got it, now I've cracked the formula or the secret, there's more. I'm learning to accept the process, I guess. I'm very oriented towards the end result, wanting to finish as soon as possible, so I can write something else. But that's not always the wise thing to do. Sometimes words has to be tweaked and cut, sometimes more than words, sometimes even whole pages, has to go.
The story is everything, and anything standing in the way of a smooth reading, just has to go out. It doesn't matter that I worked like a mad on those two pages - if they're wrong for the story.
So I am grateful for my editor who never lets on that she can sense my resentment or hurt feelings (they never last), and never gives up. There's an awful lot of inspiration in that feedback, and my novel is all the better for it.
If I can just get started on that blasted rewriting!

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