REVISIONS MAKE YOU A REAL WRITER

February 13, 2008 at 3:08 pm 5 comments

Before I go on to the real topic of this post I like to say I hate when people blog that they are blogging somewhere else and that’s the blog post. So I’m not going to do that to you. But I will say go here for my First Eva Guest Blog on Southern Fried Chicas.
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Some people may disagree with me. Go ahead. What I truly believe it isn’t the actual act of writing a book that separates you from the pack, it’s when you sit down after you’ve written THE END and see why the book sucks. Really you can go on writing book after book thinking to yourself you are the new Sliced Bread, but if you never re-open that document to see how you can make your story better, what’s already good, rack your brain about why that one particular scene bothers you then I don’t think you can call yourself an author.

Yes, you can still let the story rust on your hardrive after you revise it. At the moment I have three books doing just that. One I’m actively revising. The other I’m thinking about revising. The last one I’m just thinking about printing it out, sitting it in my barbeque pit, setting on fire, and erasing from my hardrive.

Can you tell I’m talking about my first novel?

And when I’m talking about revising I’m not saying getting a book ready for submission i.e. publication. (But if you’ve put all that hard work into it, why not?) I’m talking about being able to step away from a book and say it’s the best you can do and go on to the next one. This may be on my mind because I’ve received my first round of revisions from my editor. I took my time going through each page making sure there wasn’t anything I wasn’t satisfied with leaving. For me it’s my own stamp of approval. If I cringe reading it, if I don’t want to put my name on it and send it out into the world, then that sucker is going to change.

Or the reason I brought this subject up is because my brain runs a million miles per hour and I have a new thought every five seconds.

Tell me what you think: What makes a real writer?

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Marianne Arkins  |  February 14, 2008 at 12:34 am

    I think writers write and authors edit. I think nearly anyone can be a writer, but it takes persistence to be an author.

    Just my take on it — but, I’m stressed out and sleep-deprived, so there’s no saying if that even makes sense! LOL…

  • 2. Mel  |  February 14, 2008 at 1:26 am

    No, Marianne, I see what you mean. Yes, anyone can sit down to write, not many can sit down to write a whole book, and then not many can or are willing to revise said book. And then there’s the elite crew who do it more than once. Or I could just call it another form of insanity.

  • 3. Emma Petersen  |  February 14, 2008 at 5:20 am

    What makes a real writer?

    This is a good question. One that I don’t really have an answer to. Part of me thinks that the biggest part of being a real writer is dedication. You can say you’re a writer but until you get up day after day and not only write but do things to improve your craft…

    On the other hand part of me thinks you’re born with a certain destiny. Some of us are writers, some of us are artists, some of us are porn stars. It’s just in the cards and it’s up to us whether we fufill our destiny or we allow it to whither on the vine.

  • 4. Mel  |  February 14, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    It’s just in the cards and it’s up to us whether we fufill our destiny or we allow it to whither on the vine.

    I like that line. And I think it comes to down to personal opinion what makes a writer. I just think it takes huge cajones to put your work out there in the world. I still remember dreading my first critique. Or even the first time I let my mother read some of my stuff. She’s still mad at me for not getting my first book published. But then again she’s my Mom.

    And yeah, I do believe we are all born with certain talents that even goes for people who are exceptional at math, teaching, healing. It never fails to amaze me how a heart surgeon can crack you open, stop your heart, fix it, and close you up. And most patients can live to tell the tale. So your metaphor is very apt.

  • 5. Edie  |  February 15, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    Writers write. Writers who sell revise. But you’re right about some books — and I’ve written a few of those — that the best place for them is a bonfire.

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