On Re-Reading, Re-Writing And Arithmetic - Writer's Digest

On Re-Reading, Re-Writing And Arithmetic

Publish date:

Things seemed so easy. Just zip through the ending that I'd already
mapped out, nail a few scenes, drop some exclamation points, throw in
some gratuitous nudity and I'd be finished. Or finished with this
draft until my advisor skewered it (in a constructive way!) at least.
But it turns out that life isn't always the easy road that they make
it out to be on the first season of Lost. So instead of just
plodding forward happily, I started to re-read my book from the
beginning. And then I started to freak out. It seems, not enough was
happening to my characters. Sh*t needed to go down in a much more
intense and forceful manner. People needed to be put in awkward
positions. Choices needed to be made. Adverbs toned down. Exclamation
points undropped.

In lieu of completely losing my mind, I decided to semi-rationally
read through the book again with a pen and a pad and take note of the
places that needed some more conflict, where things needed to be
ramped up, toned down, or excused from existing. This took an entire
day, but it had the end result of making me much more confident about
the state of my book (almost readable!) while staving off any desire
to self-medicate.

And now I feel the need to do those things before I turn in this
draft. Which might take a few more days. Yes, this could make my
advisor curse the day that I forced her to sign an exclusive advisor
for life contract, but at least she didn't actually prick her finger
and stamp the contract with blood, like I'd asked. And if this draft
is better, then my next draft will be better, which means I will have
to spend less time on the back end making the excuses that i'm trying
to make right now, which will no doubt improve relations with the PR
firm hired to promote my work. And that, friends, is how you publish
a book!!!

Class dismissed.


On to more general topics: (several of) the people have spoken and
it's generally agreed that I am lazy and need to step up my blog
game. With that said, I will now be posting at least twice a week,
usually Mondays and Thursdays. At least one of these posts per week
will be of choice quality. The other will be, like, pretty good.

Enjoy the remnants of the week and the weekend. My friend Frank is
coming into town, utilizing his spring break from law school in balmy
Virginia to spend some time in the winter wonderland of Boston.
Obviously, he didn't think this through.

And PS- I'm planning on milking the songs of 1998 for all they're worth.

Pretty Fly,
(For A White Guy)

The Offspring


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