Monday, October 11, 2010


If I've learned one thing as a writer, it's that perfection is overrated. Because no matter how many times you tweak or fix or re-read something, you can always find something that needs to be improved or fixed or whatever verb you choose to use.

That's not to say I like things sloppy. With misnamed characters, plot holes and awkward writing. I hate that. But I do believe writers get to a point where their constant re-reading and editing actually makes their writing worse, not better. I'm a big believer in writing, revising once or at the most twice, and then submitting the thing. Maybe a few times that's bitten me in the butt. But more often than not, I find it works to preserve the ideas without making them too pat, too bland, too obvious.

I like to preserve that spontaneity.

That does mean I'm thinking about my novel again. Still. The manuscript, all 187 pages, is sitting here in a little green folder on my desk. I need to re-read it. That would be my first once-over. Ideally, I'd like to do it in a day so that I can get the whole effect, everything at once, so I can know for myself that I've not started one character out with one name and then assigned him another later on. I'm prone to that. And I know a lot of my characters sound alike. I can tweak their dialogue, but I don't want to do the typical tricks of dialects -- especially since one character already has a dialect -- or other such writerly nonsense.

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