Wednesday, September 20, 2006

On Bended Quill

Ideally, we writers grow and find some fresh insight, some new glimmer of revelation, with each blank page we fill. I know I can go back and look at something I wrote last month, last week, even just yesterday, and see immediately where there's room for improvement.

Now that I'm finished with the mystery I spent the last year writing and have it shopped out (slamming me into Waiting mode), I'm feeling ready to go back to another ms I left in hiatus last year. I'm pretty sure I'll be able to look at it now, judge its strength, see where its flaws are, and give it a thorough revision in a reasonably short period of time.

Overall, I thought it was "pretty good" the last time I looked at it. It will be interesting to see whether my impression changes when I take it back out of the drawer. What am I saying? Of course, my opinion will have changed. Big chunks of that ms are going to immediately strike me as "Suck City." Such is the whole raison d'ĂȘtre for review and revision.

When you become complacent, when you no longer believe (or want to hear) that your work can stand some polishing and fine-tuning, or when you develop a sense of complete laissez faire about the whole process, that's when it's time to perhaps look into another pastime. I see writers who, I swear, are using the same stale passages, the same tired old phraseology, even the same recycled words they were using two or three years back. Something is fundamentally wrong when they no longer have the capacity to come up with something fresh and new.

Which reminds me -- Psssst. Girlie. Yeah, you. Clue. You really need to write better press releases, especially if you're going to stick with the same old free Internet variety. You need a new hook! Seriously, at this rate, you don't have a prayer of pimping your client's old, recycled verbiage that's never, ever rejuvenated.

Speaking of lazy writing, can anyone tell me what in the world this Wild Word, symbalize, might mean?


kanrei said...

Ifeel the same way about the Charlie story. I am taking a week or two off just to reapproach it freshly.
Mystery novel? Cool. Can't wait to see the demons in your head.

symbalize- when you sympathize with a symbolic trapeze artist.

Serena Joy said...

I always wanted to be a symbolic trapeze artist. Could somebody hit the cymbals and strike up "Saber Dance?"

Don't fret, kiddo. "Charlie" has loads of potential for twists and turns and shockers.

You sure you want to see my mysterious demons? They can be pretty scary. Be careful what you wish for.:)

Southern Writer said...

I thought symbalize was empathizing with Simba. You know that big lion?

So ... interesting post. Should I be expecting an e-mail?

Serena Joy said...

LOL, Lesia. Simba was the first thing I thought of when I saw that. We DO think alike.

As long as your e-mail doesn't bring you press releases for a desperate and pathetic blogger, you're in good shape, kid. I'm still LMAO over that one.

Anonymous said...

How dark can it be really?

I got an easy one just now: habdifo

Steve G said...

I like your attitude. Going back over something after a period of time, sure opens up new possibilities. Great Post.

Serena Joy said...

Kan - Pretty dark sometimes. Not quite a total eclipse, but my head walks the line on occasion. Your word sounds like somebody with a cold grabbing a ringing phone -- "I hab de fo!"

Steve - Thank you, sir.