Friday, August 27, 2010

Hindsight is 20/20

Or so they say...

Writing is like life--in that there is a beginning a middle and end. While working on my latest book, it became quite apparent about midway through the story that past tense wasn't the best way to tell the story. Well, not quite midway but about a third of the way. Still--it was a significant chunk of the way in--36,000 words.

The previous 3 books I'd written were done so in past tense and they all made perfect sense. However, this particular book did not. It begged for the present. I read from it aloud in the middle of chapter ten in the present tense--just to try it on. It flowed so much better. I knew then what I had to do.

It got me to thinking about life and do overs. How often do we think about our lives and the things we could possibly change that would make our it flow better? Simple things that if we took a minute to say out loud to ourselves, "hey, this isn't working," perhaps maybe we could go back and change it--make it better.

In writing, as in life--you can go back and change things. You can recognize mistakes, missteps or minor tweaks that if altered even slightly can make a huge impact on the overall outcome. You can have a do over. You can change it. Revision is a bitch. It takes time and a lot of patience. But it can be done.

So if there's something you're thinking about changing about yourself or your life--think about this: you can do it. It'll be hard and it may take some time. But you can do it. And while you're working on that, I'll be here revising 36,000 words, changing each sentence from past to present tense.

Talk amongst yourselves.




Cholisose said...

I'm in the middle of revising a novel, and it really is a slow, arduous process (at least for me). Perhaps one day I'll be a much better writer, and won't have to spend as much time needing to revise things. ;]

Georgia McBride said...

Revision is a slow process. Everyone has to revise. The good thing is you DO get better at it. You learn to see things in your work that you can avoid the next time. HOWEVER, you will always have to revise, no matter what. Chin up--it will get better.


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