Come to My New Blog!

If you followed a link here from a comment I made on somebody's google blog, I would love to have you visit my blog, but this is no longer it. While I may occasionally post things here again once in a long while, virtually all my content will be at from here on out. If you were curious enough to come this far, why not give me one more click?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

It's probably just a phase

First I wrote the thing. Next my wife, my alpha reader, read it and pointed out the worst of the suck, which I then removed. Then I went through and chopped a third of my wordcount off--first by pulling out scenes and finding ways to make other scenes do their work, and then by going through and looking for sentences or paragraphs full of self-indulgent or boring writing I could cut. (I've got a blog for boring and self-indulgent writing; it doesn't need to go in my book!) Then I went through looking for amateurish writing. Over-reliance on the verb to be, overuse of the gerund form, overuse of my protagonist's name, overuse of garbage words like just and garbage constructions like he found himself . . . . And then I went through looking of ways not to take the suck out, but to put some good stuff in: more sensory details (but not in overwhelming quantities), the occasional bit of figurative language, and so forth.

And you know what? I'm starting to like this thing.

I'm starting to like it a lot.

I've certainly gone through periods of hating it. Times when I felt sure this was an unbelievably stupid story, that nobody would want to publish--let alone read--it, and that it would just become another trunk novel. And I've read enough writers' blogs to know that loving and hating your MS are just phases you go through. But I don't want to hear that. Right now I feel like I've got something people will enjoy. I feel like I've got something sellable. I feel like all the time I've put in revising and revising and revising are paying off.

I didn't do anything like this for Prototype. I finished my first draft, looked at my wife's comments, maybe did another read-through and touch-up myself, and sent it on its merry way.


I've posted before about my feeling that I'm pretty proficient with the nuts and bolts of the language, but that I was frustrated at still detecting something amateurish in my writing that I couldn't quite put my finger on. I wasn't finding that level of polish I see in the books I like to read. Well I may be delusional, but I'm starting to see it.

(Yes, this is a terribly self-congratulatory post. That's why it's my blog. Read until you find you nausea point and then feel free to stop. This is where I put all those natterings I don't want to inflict on any unwilling victims.)

All my MS needed was a little lot of work.

Go figure.

(Say, anybody wanna beta-read?)

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