Friday, April 21, 2006

The joys and surprises of rewriting. My big analysis project (scene by scene) was useful but this week I have reached 'crunch time' - the point at which I have made major changes in the plot that will reverberate right through to the finishing line. Hopefully resulting in a much better ending.
It's like that cliche of throwing a rock into a pond - the ripples get wider and wider. So even small changes to a character gradually get bigger as the novel goes on. When I reach the point of writing completely new words (and deleting pages and pages of old words), I start to feel like I am really rewriting, really improving and strengthening what's there, rather than just fiddling around the edges.
I'm down to the last 30 pages and, of those, more than half will be deleted and new words written. The feeling of blocking huge amounts of text and hitting Delete is scary, but I know I still have a hard copy. Better to be safe than sorry! But I think I'm going in the right direction.
I signed up this week for the Knopf Poem a Day, and the first poem I received was an amazing piece from Sharon Olds. I was also able to click on the link and hear a recording of her reading the poem. Added to that, I bought a Sharon Olds book yesterday 'The Unswept Room' which promises to be wonderful. Reading good poems nearly always inspires me to write more. While I have found little new on the writing guides shelves at Borders lately, yesterday I discovered a great book on reading and writing poetry called 'A Poet's Companion: a guide to the pleasures of writing poetry' by Addonizio and Laux, and after reading the first chapter, wrote three poems last night. Now that's a good sparker book!
I did finish the book I talked about before (A Ship Made of Paper)and didn't change my opinion - the other characters in the book were good, but the main character was a pain and I was glad he didn't have a happy ending.
Am currently about 40 pages into 'The Wooden Leg of Inspector Anders' - a crime novel set in Italy. It's OK, but not holding me enough to stop me diving into the library today and borrowing two Lee Childs that I hadn't read.

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