Monday, April 8, 2013

One Thing Leads To Another by Kinan Werdski

One Thing Leads To Another

                I bought a new desk.
The old one was so cramped, cluttered and dusty that I hated to look at it. I finally bit the bullet and ordered a new desk online. It arrived after a week or so with some rather significant deficiencies--structural damage and quite a lot of cosmetic scars. So I demanded a replacement. That one also arrived with deficiencies, but they weren’t so bad. In fact, I spent an afternoon swapping parts back and forth and ended up with a useable product. Hallelujah!
                Bear with me here. This does relate to writing.
                Next step was to integrate it into the space available. First I had to remove irrelevant things from the office and stick them  where they really belonged. That involved making room amid my craft stuff, but that’s another story. Next, I cleared out a file cabinet--did I really need all the critiques of a manuscript for a book published eight years ago? I thought not--and rolled it aside. I cleaned the rug, dusted things that hadn’t been dusted in years, undid cables, set up the desk, plugged all the cables back in.
Honest, I’ll get to the writing.
I got rid of everything superfluous and rearranged what was left to better advantage. I added better lighting, washed the windows and touched up the paint. I cleaned, polished, sorted and tidied.
The new desk was just a starting point. My file cabinet has room for the stuff that used to pile up on the floor. The entire room now breathes and shines. It’s no longer a slap-dash conglomeration of bits and pieces; it has become a fluid, welcoming place. Something I’m proud to share.
Okay, here’s the writing bit. You’ve worked on a manuscript for so long you hate to look at it. It’s cluttered, dusty and dull. You get cranky just thinking about it, yet you can’t leave it alone. So buy a new desk—er, try something drastic. Rewrite from another POV, toss in a nasty new character, throw stones at your heroine. Sure, the first draft will be deficient, and probably the second one, too. Rewrite, combine, celebrate. Repeat as necessary.
Now, follow through. A new chapter all by itself won’t do a thing for you. Integrate it into the space available. Some pages you love might have to go, but they can be part of another story. You’ll end up throwing some things out, moving others, letting in light. Clean, polish, sort and tidy.
It’s hard work, but creativity is joyful hard work. In the end your work will flow and shine. It will welcome readers. And you’ll be proud to share it.

Kinan Werdski, editor
The Wild Rose Press

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