Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Revisions make me nervous

What’s a writer to do?

Fellow writer, Janet Elaine Smith, after publishing more than 20 books, still carries index cards around in her handbag. When she’s out and about and observes someone or something interesting, she jots it down on an index card to use in one of her stories. It might be an action one of her characters might do, or something he or she might wear, or even the character herself or himself. After all of these years, Janet still does the cards. It’s something I tried but I felt like it was slowing me down.

It’s not that I don’t have plenty of story ideas. It’s that I haven’t finished a complete novel. Well, I HAVE completed several drafts, but the thought of editing, of rewriting, revising, is a scary one.
Twenty or so years ago I wrote a children’s picture book based on my twin daughters. I loved it. My mother read it. She said it needed a little work. When she read the revision she said I had overdone the editing and the story had lost its charm. I wish I would have submitted the original version. I should have submitted the story.

Did THAT cause my fear of revision? Or is there a terror for every unpublished writer? (I won’t say new writer because I’ve been writing for a VERY long time.)

Janet urged me to take one of my stories and just finish it, whatever it takes for me to do it. So…I am trying to do that. I HAVE to make it a priority so the people in my life will see how important this is and how vital they are to my achieving my goals.

(c) 2014 Cathy Thomas Brownfield ~ All Rights Reserved

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