‘Good novels are not written, they are rewritten. Great novels are diamonds mined from layered rewrites.’
I suspect most writers know this, but every once in awhile you run across someone who doesn’t believe in revising or rewriting, as if their prose is sacred in its original form. I’m having a hard enough time just writing this blog post. I’ve added, deleted, rephrased… all in the space of a couple sentences.
I used to enjoy watching Carrie Bradshaw working at writing on “Sex and the City”, the weeks she struggled to think of a topic for her column, mining her friends’ lives for material (which they freely shared and never seemed to object to having exposed to strangers in Manhattan, but that’s another topic). Of course being a tv show with a limited timespan we never saw her struggle too hard and often the words seemed to flow in perfect order for her. Personally I like the revising part of writing. Of course, I’m nowhere near the revision stage of my WIP, although occasionally as I read back over stuff to remind myself of where I’ve taken my little darlings, I start fussing and tweaking, and rewording anyway.
So today I will end with another quote on revision, from the Lion of Britain, Sir Winston Churchill:
‘Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him to the public.’