September 29, 2009

the joy of revising

the 2nd draft is chugging along. after working out a peculiar plot problem that had me dead in the water, i'm at it again and pushing nearly 24,000 words. rather than think of something entertaining to say, here are more quotes on revising (along with my comments).

** Rewriting is like scrubbing the basement floor with a toothbrush. ~ Pete Murphy (no wonder my arms hurt)

** Books are never finished, they are merely abandoned. ~ Oscar Wilde (i agree)

** Books aren't written—they're rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn't quite done it. ~ Michael Crichton (7 rewrites? oh dear)

** Like stones, words are laborious and unforgiving, and the fitting of them together, like the fitting of stones, demands great patience and strength of purpose and particular skill. ~ Edmund Morrison (i hope i have that particular skill)

** Convince yourself that you are working in clay, not marble, on paper, not eternal bronze: let that first sentence be as stupid as it wishes. No one will rush out and print it as it stands. ~ Jacques Barzun (it's a good thing, too!)

** Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life. ~Lawrence Kasdan, screenwriter, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Empire Strikes Back (amen!)

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