Thursday, November 20, 2008

Growing Pains

As I revise an older manuscript for the Golden Heart, I am amazed at the plethora of "that" and "was" in my first chapters.
This manuscript has been pounded and twisted and scrunched so many times that to find more work of this magnitude is a bit overwhelming.
I love this story, however, so I press on.

Thank goodness for Control F. That thing'll be worn out by the time I'm done with it.

It is a nice thing to see that I am growing in the craft, however painful it may be. After all, when I last looked at this manuscript only months ago, these passive extras never stood out to me. Someday, when I'm published, growing will still be important to me. Learning new things, discovering better ways.

This is an important lesson for us all, both in life and in writing, that we never think we're finished. We are all works of art, continually being molded by our choices and beliefs.

Have you discovered any recent areas where you've changed? For the better or for the worse?

10 comments:

Kristen Painter said...

While I think my writing's gotten better with this most recent WIP, I don't know that it's something I can pinpoint. I've had those epiphanies going back to older pieces tho. It's a good feeling to know that you've progressed!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jessica,

When I look at some of my older articles and devotionals, I cringe. The editor in me always sees room for improvement.

I've seen growth with characterization and keeping the plot moving.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Jessica said...

Yeah, it is painful to see where I was but it's inspiring to see where I am.

Terri Tiffany said...

All the time! I almost hate looking back at stories I wrote a year or more ago--ugh--painful that is makes me wonder how bad is the stuff I write now! I think when we quit learning--we quit growing. Good for you for being open to it!

Eileen Astels Watson said...

For me, I see my flow of words as much smoother in my most recent writings than when I first began attempting this craft.

I, too, am trying to edit one that has been edited to death, and still the writing in it makes me wince more often than not. But I love the story, and that's what keeps calling me back at it.

May we find the strength together, Jessica, to make our pieces shine!

Jessica said...

Hey Terri and Eileen,

I hear you :-)

Angie Ledbetter said...

Nice post. I think if we don't stay open to growth, change and improvement (even if it's hard) in both life and writing, we become stunted.

About seeing all the "thats" in your ms, they leap out at me now as an editor as not needed about 90% of the time. :)It's late. Hope that made sense.

Jessica said...

Yes, it does! :-) I usually read the sentence out loud if I'm not sure, and that usually answers my question.

haleigh said...

You know Jessie, you're the first person to mention my over abundance of "was" and you weren't kidding! As I've revised later chapters, I actually found one paragraph with six "was" in it. Yikes! So hopefully I'm getting better - I can at least catch the "was" and "that" now. Any progress is good, right? lol

Christina Berry said...

Yikes! I'm about to do the last pass over my debut book before I had the manuscript to my editor and I KNOW I will see something jump out that proclaims, "AMATEUR!" One good thing about being contracted is that they can't reject me for it now. :-)

When I started the book I'm writing now, I just made sure I wasn't using "was" from the beginning. I think I did the whole first chapter without a single passive. It's kind of a fun game to see how long you can go without being forced to use one.

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