Thursday, July 22, 2010

Work in Progress: The Yo-Yo of Revision

I’m in the throes of revising my novel at the moment, with the homestretch in sight (sort of; at least for this phase of writing/rewriting; almost; maybe), and yet I can’t relax. Can we ever relax? Can we ever—please!—JUST RELAX?

It’s never good enough, it’s never “done”; it never matches the vision we had in our heads.

There’s always something we should have added or something we should have deleted. There’s such an obvious thread that we should have pulled forward—or out.

There’s a better word, but it’s not in your head or in your computer’s crappy thesaurus. That word is always on the tip of your tongue. (Red-pen that cliché.)

That conversation—the intense one? the one where we see for the first time the depth of how intensely these two hate each other?—needs more lines. Or is it fewer lines? Should they talk more or shut up? Should they stand up or sit down? It matters—EVERY F-ING WORD MATTERS—so what the heck should they do…perhaps they shouldn’t even be at a table. What if they were at the aquarium instead of a dining room table? Were there public aquariums in 1900? In Chicago? Research break!!!!!!

This book has no meaning.

This book is sooooooo boring. No one will read it. I can’t even read it. (Once I fell asleep while reading it, but don’t tell anyone.) No one will ever read this book.

This font sucks.

I should have been a pair of ragged claws / scuttling across the floors of silent seas. (Research break to look up that quote and get it exactly right!!!!!!!!) Or an accountant.

Hemingway said, “Write one true sentence.” Pietrzyk says (adds?) (counters?) (shrieks?) (despairs?), “And then write 10,000 more.”

This book will never be done. This book will be done.

“I can’t go on like this."
“That’s what you think.”


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.