I’m currently ripping apart Chapter Nine. There have been some major cuts in chapters one through eight, getting rid of lots of info-dumpy-ness. But this… this is plot work to untwist that didn’t happen and start tangling up things that did later in the draft. It’s just hard work and I feel like a complete moron for having ever put those words on paper in that order in the first place.
However a friend recently passed along a great essay on writing and revising by John McPhee (that man write so well about rocks) and he says:
The way to do a piece of writing is three or four times over, never once….Sometimes, in a nervous frenzy, I just fling words as if I were flinging mud at a wall. Blurt out, heave out, babble out something — anything — as a first draft. With that, you have achieved a sort of nucleus. Then, as you work it over and alter it, you being to shape sentences that score higher with the ear and eye. Edit it again — top to bottom. The chances are that about now you’ll be seeing something that you are sort of eager for others to see. And all that takes time.
So, maybe what I have wasn’t really written in moron the first time through. It’s just muddy and messy and now I’m slogging through all those heaved out words to make sense of what’s left.
(photo from ICanHazCheezburger… not mine, etc., etc.)