9/22/2009

The Hard Work of a Writer

I think there is often a misconception about the real work of a writer. Yes, it seems amazing to some people that writers come up with unusual storylines or characters or that they can write pages upon pages, thousands upon thousands of words, to spin the tale. But that isn’t the real work of a writer. That, my friends, is the fun part. The real work of the writer is in the re-writing.

I finished an 86, 000-word manuscript. I’ve had majorly positive feedback on it. But now it is time to get down to the gritty work of implementing changes to make the story and characters stronger. To make them gripping—and unforgettable. To tell the story in such a way that the reader remembers it long after she turns the final page.

To achieve this lofty goal requires the ability to detatch, to tear apart and build up again, to discard something “good” for the sake of something “better.” That will be my task over the next couple of months. It is make or break time. I can create character and weave a story, but can I do the hard work of a writer? Only time will tell.

3 comments:

Richard Mabry said...

D'Ann,
Good point. My novel is under contract, but I haven't received my editor's "macro-edits" yet. However, at ACFW she gave me about four things she thought should be changed to make my story better. (Huh? I thought it was perfect. That's why they bought it, wasn't it?) Anyway, I've been doing that, and it's not easy. All writers consider their words as precious as their children. It's hard to change them or...perish the thought...delete them. And what if we take out something the editor would like? Guess that's why writing is so hard. Best wishes on your own journey to remodeling. I'm sure you'll do a great job.

cr said...

My prayer is that time will be your friend.

Lisa Buffaloe said...

Editing and rewrites takes lots of prayers and dark chocolate. :)

Loved getting to see you at conference! I'm praying for you.