Saturday, February 28, 2009

Let Your Story Sit Awhile

Don't be in too big a hurry to get your manuscript into the mail.

One of the arguments for letting a manuscript mellow, before sending it off the the publisher, is how often things come to mind that need to be rewritten.

Today, I'm going back over my novel to see if there are other incidents of authorial intrusion (as I call it), places where I tell how a character is feeling, rather than show it by his words or actions. Even though I know the rules, I am still guilty of this sometimes.

There is one scene in the story where Charlie's family has taken in a boarder, a pretty young schoolteacher. I wrote, "Charlie found it uncomfortable having an attractive young woman in the house." Yikes! I can do better than that.

How can I illustrate his discomfort though something he says or does? I decide to show him attacking his regular farm chores with great vigour whenever the teacher's around.

So, another read-through. Luckily, I enjoy the revision process. There is no hurry. Something else may surface as I play the scenes in my head. I have to wonder, though: does one ever get it right the first time?

No comments: