Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Rewriting by Marie-Louise Jensen

Rewriting can be a lot of fun. You have a list of things that need to be changed or improved and it’s time to start. You know what you are going to do will make the story stronger, slicker, better.
But it’s quite hard to get back into the story when meanwhile you’ve started work on something new, and that’s where your mind is now. And then there’s the unravelling. You solve one problem in the text and it throws up three more problems. So you think and think and work out how to solve the next issues and lo and behold another series of events are going to need adjusting. And so it goes on, all the way through the story.
There are lots of analogies I could use to describe how I feel at this stage of writing a novel. Like trying to hold water or sand in your hands, or like dropping stitches when you’re knitting. But what it feels most like, as I try to hold the threads of the story in my mind as I cut and change is the feeling that I’m juggling. I’m trying to hold four or five balls in the air when I’m actually only competent at juggling two, and if I look away for even a second, they’ll all come crashing down around me.
Not that I’ve ever tried juggling. But that’s what it feels like nonetheless.
But I do know that I’ll get to a point, somewhere near the end of the story, where it all starts to come together. And then I know it will feel just great.

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