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Thursday, March 15, 2007

The many layers of novel writing

Last night, as my mind wandered I found myself thinking about my work in progress. I’m not moving forward as I should be – not because I’ve got plot block. No, I know what comes next, but, I’m dissatisfied with the quality and flow of the last few thousand words.

We beat the dead horse over first drafts and inner editors. It’s just hard to get past that sometimes. When a painter decides to paint a picture of a bouquet of flowers, he doesn’t start with a petal. He starts with the curtain of the backdrop. Then, when dry enough he adds some shading and depth, and then begins on the centerpiece; painting the pieces that will result in the vision of the painter’s inner eye.

I know that I must follow the same concept: complete my first draft, which is my background. When dry, come through a second time and start working on the depth and texture. Go over it, again, to make the final masterpiece come alive and only then, if I’m lucky, will it match the masterpiece I am expecting.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Marcia said...

I like the comparison to painting.

2:33 PM  
Blogger Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Go on and just bang out that first draft. It's the hardest part of writing. Then you can go back and CRAFT the rest of the book -- add your paint layers, such as they now are.

Hang in there. If you need help, motivation, or a place to whine, I'm here.

Or I'll be back once I feel better. Ugh.

4:02 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

No further advice - you've said it yourself. Just keep on keeping on - oh and try to enjoy!

11:32 AM  
Blogger Nienke Hinton said...

What a great way of putting it! I may have to quote you on my blog!

2:28 PM  

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