The Endearing Parts
I hate to admit failure. So what I do is re-define reality.
No, I didn’t fail to place as highly in the contest as I’d hoped. What I did was to learn a major truth about my revision process.
I am trying to shift my novel-writing from voice-driven, told story to scene-based, plotted story. I say “shift” but it’s more like those old draw-bridges that don’t open upwards but swing to the side— a screeching, rusty, grating to the ear process.
The revision I’m searching for entails, first of all, cutting. If I stop there, however, I’m left with a story leached of everything that was interesting. I must return to the manuscript and strategically add that which is me. The fun, the pun, the spot-on description, the endearing parts.
The Bone Trench failed to do well in the contest because—so proud of my new-found shears—I stopped at the cutting stage. What I submitted was, in fact, the bones. That’s okay. Now I get to have fun. I get to add the soul back into the book.
Here’s to creative synthesis . . .