Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Books & Writing: Writers Are Never All Grown Up

When teaching writing workshops, I've often said, the learning never ends. It's true. However, when I make a blunder I'm still startled . . . as if I believe my writing is all grown up.

A few nights ago, I found a major flaw in one of my projects. I've been working on a true story, which is written in first person--a new experience for me. I've loved the process, the writing and the woman whose story I'm telling. It's been an extremely positive experience, thus far.

After countless hours of interviews and transcription I had the material organized and fashioned into a rough outline and was ready to write. I happily sat down and over the course of a couple of weeks, crafted three chapters and sent them off to my agent. I felt pretty good about the work. However, I should have taken another look at those chapters before I pressed send.

A couple of nights ago I did take another look. Yikes! I was stunned at what I found--bones in need of flesh. I was so crazy about the voice of my main character that I became too focused on that portion of the writing, so wanting her to jump off the pages and into the hearts of readers.While doing so I lost sight of something very important--time and place, something I usually do pretty well.

I'm reworking the scenes. And I'm not the least bit distressed--it's blessed fun to see the story come to life more completely. However, I must admit to being disappointed in myself. I really hate it when I get careless, and this story is important. I want to do my best work so it will reach as many readers as possible.

Writers can't get lazy or careless. If we do it will mean extra rewriting or worse yet poor writing. The truth is that writing is rewriting. We never get it right the first time. I encourage you to do all that rewriting with joy, knowing that what you place on the page will matter to someone who reads it.

We can make a difference. There is power in words--to create laughter, joy, an escape and even healing for wounded souls.

Enjoy the crafting and the growing up that is part of a writer's life.

Grace and peace to you from God,


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