Sunday, June 23, 2013
When is a story or a manuscript finished?
I think mine is finished when it’s perfect. You know, after that first draft, and after I go through it for the sixth or seventh time, editing, tweaking, adding, subtracting, and polishing. Okay, maybe the eighth or ninth time. What? Still not perfect?
Newsflash: mine will never be perfect by anyone’s standards—especially not by mine, my editor’s, my readers’ or my publisher’s. Therefore, it will never be finished. Does that mean I stop? No, it means I quit.
Nobody knows what perfect means. Of course we all type The End, when we are finished. However, The End to me, doesn’t mean it’s really finished. It simply means I quit.
I don’t mean quitting here in a bad sense. It means I will quit re-writing, editing, polishing, tweaking, listening to critics and making changes. Quitting means that I am confident that the story or manuscript is the best that I can make it. Quitting means that it’s ready to let loose to the world.
I quit only after editing, rewriting, and polishing. Am I speaking doublespeak? No. I absolutely edit, re-write and polish. But only enough to get me to a place where I can quit. So is the story, manuscript finished? Probably not. But I will quit and publish it.
A friend of mine, a talented artist once told me that his paintings were never finished. He simply quit painting on them.
So it is with my manuscripts.
Sunday, June 9, 2013
While thinking about what I would write about today, and procrastinating as much as possible, yet still failing to accomplish anything, I found this in my email and just had to share.
How Not To Write A Novel, In Ten Easy Steps(A tongue-in-cheek look at how to prepare for your next book)
BY: MELANIE MEADORS
1. Binge watch all of Doctor Who. Or maybe Downton Abbey, if
that’s more your thing. It’s market research, right? And it’s kind of
popular, so you want to stay with the times. Very important to be able
to relate to your fans. You have to watch at least two episodes per
night in order to be able to keep up with it all…which doesn’t leave
much room for writing.
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
I had a bad dream last night. Oh, it wasn’t a scary dream, like about monsters or such, but it was, nevertheless, a really bad dream. It made me wonder, once I awoke, whether or not dreams like this could be fatal.
Whenever I used to hear that someone died in his or her sleep from a heart attack or stroke, I would always cluck sympathetically and assume that the person had some sort of underlying risk. That their time was up.
But after my bad dream, I have to ask myself, “What if someone’s death was really from a bad dream?” Because, if they died we’d never know if the bad dream caused the death. He or she wouldn’t be around to tell us. After my bad dream, I have to wonder.
In my dream, I became so angry at someone, that I was out of control furious. I’m pretty sure my blood pressure had to have shot through the top of my head. I don’t suffer from high blood pressure issues, so the end didn’t come for me last night. But what if I had high blood pressure? Or a bad heart? Seriously. Maybe I would have died. And my poor husband would have told everyone at the visitation, “So strange that she died of a heart attack. She didn’t have heart problems. Of course, she wasn’t a teenager anymore. Tsk Tsk.”
Many years ago, I read an article by a psychologist or a psychiatrist ( I always get those two mixed up) who postured that if one was in the habit of having scary dreams, one could train oneself to say “this is only a dream,” and then bring oneself out of the dream. I’ve actually tried that a time or two, and saved myself from some blood sucking monsters. I would wake up and the dream would fizzle away.
But back to this terrible rage I felt. I didn’t tell myself I was only dreaming. Probably because the dream was so vividly real. Someone was messing with Cami, my ’79 Camaro. It stayed with me all day. I think the only solution to that is to train myself in real life not to get so angry. Wait, I did that already. Perhaps it’s all the repressed rage manifesting itself while I sleep. After holding it in so long, and all.
I may need help from one of those psycho people… psychologist or psychiatrist?