Sunday, July 23, 2006

Tinking and frogging: the writer's POV

Tinking...LOL, BB. You know, this makes me think about life as a writer. I've sewn all my life, but never have I learned to like ripping out seams. Ditto with needlework...hate, hate, hate to rip out.

And I was that way when I first began writing ten years ago, as complete novice. With no training and no experience, it was all OJT for me, and I never trusted anything but the first words that rolled onto the page--somehow that initial outpouring felt true, but I knew so little about what I was doing that I was scared to death to do any serious revising that would materially change the story.

But somehow I made the transition and now have a hard time figuring out when to stop--God bless deadlines, or I'd mess with each book as often as I re-read it. And as Stella Cameron told me once, early on, "Don't iron it too much; you'll flatten it." In, of course, that lovely Brit accent of hers.

Finding that point is tough, and isn't writing all about learning to trust your own instincts, your own sense of your story, what's your true voice? (Except, okay, that there's not a writer alive who doesn't need an editor--not matter what Anne Rice thinks.;))

I can make myself rip out stitches, of course...but I still don't like it. I'm a forward progress kind of girl.

But maybe if I've learned to revise my writing, I'll eventually embrace ripping out more cheerfully.

Ya think?



Blogger Barbara said...

Boy, do I envy you, Jean.. How I wish I could learn to be a forward progress kind of girl but I seem to be trapped in the body of a two steps forward/five steps backward woman! Computers have made it far too easy to retrace your steps so many times you need Hansel & Gretel's breadcrumbs to find your way back home again! Loved your post. Love from BB

3:31 PM  
Blogger Jean Brashear said...

Yeah, well, BB...since I absolutely adore your stories, you just keep up that Byzantine thing!


3:39 PM  

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