Friday 25 September 2009

Trouble Shooting

A lot of writing is about trouble-shooting.
Your characters won’t behave, so you pin them down or listen to them and pin yourself down.
You don’t like your work when you reread it x weeks on, so you change it to please the writer that you have now become.
You become published and that means dealing with an editor and a copy-editor. They are there to make the work as good as it can be. But they can also make you feel totally inadequate. You have to hang on to the fact that they basically like your work. Very much in fact in these days of cut backs, which make it even harder to get published. Copy editors can be infuriating. But they are often right and when they’re wrong you might find you are as well and you have to find a third way. The third way, incidentally can be far better than either the first or the second. We’re not talking compromise. We’re talking about something far bigger.
The book is out there. What will the reviewers and the critics think? What will your personal friends think? They say they enjoyed listening to you read at the book launch. A week later they don’t even remember going to your book launch. Were they just being polite?
You agree, actually. That book that has just come out was finished probably at least a year ago.
You aim is just to write perfectly. Every time you miss that particular mark you have to trouble shoot. In the end, writing is mainly rewriting.

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