I have pretty well suck-vacuumed chapter one. (I totally stole that phrase from Elizabeth Bear, but it's so dang apt!) It took two rewrites to do it. I'm not talking about mere editing or cleaning up, but substantial rewriting of pages of stuff. And hey, now I have a tight little seven-page chapter where Chris's voice comes through loud and clear. I have felt a vague reluctance to show my work before, but I feel nothing like that with this chapter now.
But Lord, I hope the rest of it's easier.
Sadly, though, this brings me to the conclusion that I am not one of those lucky few who can turn out final draft quality prose on the first run-through. I had thought perhaps I was. I mean, my first drafts are pretty clean when it comes to grammar and spelling, and I do a decent job of varying sentence structure without needing to think about it too much. I have a writing style that's natural and that I like. But that's where we get to the difference I have mentioned before between merely competent prose and, you know, writing that sings, that doesn't sound amateurish. Apparently that takes actual work.
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