Keeping Up Appearances

I’ve changed the look of my blog to reflect that it is a writer’s blog, rather than the one I found prettiest and better suited to a photographic journal.  I can read this a great deal easier, and the layout improves the way I read it, too.

For the past seven days, I have kept up a writing routine for my book.  Since Monday the 15th of July, I’ve written or edited in my book series.  I don’t know how much my co-author Linda has done, but she tells me she’s worked on it and there’s no reason not to believe her – she’s the most honest person I’ve ever met.  Honest to a fault.  It’s hard to understand what that saying means until you have the honour of meeting a person like Linda, but I’m diverging from my point.

I have a little row of X’s on the calendar upon my wall, and they represent the fact I’ve properly worked on my project.  This project is the vampire series, by the way, the one that’s been written – though very roughly – and is going through a massive edit in order to polish it up for publishing.  Because the edit is so massive (as the book wasn’t so much written in book form as it was a series of written exchanges between myself and Linda for fun), it needs some entire scenes to be rewritten and inserted.

I’m working on a section that I originally wrote the beginning and end of – without the middle.  Circumstances were at fault for that rather than focus/attention/drive.  Regardless of where the blame lies, I need to write the middle section, and have been managing it well enough.  Linda is working on the section that she initially wrote with me, but is now turning into something that needs to be fleshed out further and pinpointed towards a single direction.  The scene kind of meandered around with a character that isn’t essential to the book and therefore is getting written out.

I’m finding it easier to delete things as I go, also.  First it was the odd word, then it become a full sentence.  Now I remove unnecessary sentences and entire paragraphs.  If the word makes the sentence clumsy, I remove it – no matter how clever the word.  If the sentence doesn’t drive the story forward and doesn’t do anything other than to provide information that distracts from the purpose of the story-telling, then I remove it.  If the paragraph – no matter how cute or quirky it is – doesn’t have any purpose other than to make me feel good for having written it, then I cut it.

I recall something Hemingway is often quoted: “Write drunk.  Edit sober.”  While I personally write sober as well, I agree with the sentiment.  I’ll even add to it.  Edit not only while sober, but also when not tired, not distracted, and not emotional.  The last one might not make sense, but if you’re angry or frustrated with your work (or yourself, or your family, or your finances, or any other thing that’s stressing you out), I recommend you stay the hell away from the delete key.

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