Friday, August 6, 2010

I like cleaning?!

I don't actually...Love a clean house, dislike the cleaning process. As I remove the dust and grime from my novel, though, I can't help but wonder if Mr. Clean reaps similar satisfaction from polishing floors. Perhaps I've been saving my cleaning fervor all these years for this process.

I recently read Stephen King's, On Writing--a fabulous part-memoir, part "how to" writer's guide. He writes about his first mentor who told him that the first draft is for you (the writer); the revision is for everyone else (the readers). Though I'm polishing my revision, not my first draft, this insight rings helpful and true.

I'm surprised that I enjoy this tidying phase as much as I do...I get to enjoy my novel as a reader and experience the final draft as it reveals itself. Some days I feel like I'm dusting dirt away to find hidden treasures. When I come across Good Will giveaways instead, I'm happy to make cuts. (So is my editor.)

A few more quotes from On Writing I dig:

"Write with the door closed; rewrite with the door open."

"Fiction is truth inside the lie."

"The road to hell is paved in adverbs."

"A short story is a kiss in the dark from a stranger."

"If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot."

"A little talent is a good thing to have if you want to be a writer. But the only real requirement is the ability to remember every scar."

"Life isn't a support system for art. It's the other way around."

(All quotes from Stephen King)

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