The Beautiful Part of Writing is That You Don’t Have to Get it Right the First Time Unlike, Say, Brain Surgery.*

Posted on 14/12/2012 by

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I have been working on the same chapter for like two weeks. Well, sort of. The problem is, this chapter is the lead in to the latter part of the book and I keep staring down the line at the end and changing my mind about the approach.

I mean, I know where I’m starting, I know what happens, I even know where I’m going to end up. It’s just… what’s the best order of events to get there? How do I build this so it has the maximum impact? Who can I shoot?

I keep going ‘aha, I’ve figured it out’. Next day, ‘aha! I’ve figured it out!’. Next day… you get the idea.

Yesterday I finally started to write the chapter instead of once again reconsidering my solution from the day before. And then spent all day writing and rewriting the same five hundred words, I tried three different approaches from two different perspectives. And then I started again.

Knowing exactly what you want to achieve is, at times, a pain in the ass.

But I think I knocked it down in the end. So today is going to be about picking up the pieces I left strewn across the battlefield, polishing them up and pretending no one heard the screaming.

Provided I don’t change my mind again. Wish me luck.

 

* Robert Cormier