Sunday, December 04, 2005

"No, Mr. Modifier," he fulminated menacingly, "I expect you to die."

It occurred to me this morning that I'd been remiss of late in my blogging; you'd think with all the words I've been crossing out in my manuscript, I'd have plenty to spare here, but you'd be wrong. Apparently spending your free time eliminating unnecessary words is not exactly inspiring when it comes to sitting down and writing later.

Still, I'm nearly 250 pages into my manuscript, and I'm happy to report that, so far, I like it. An odd thing to say of one's own book, I suppose, but believe me when I tell you that my enjoying it was not a foregone conclusion. In fact, I bet there's not a writer out there that doesn't have a niggling feeling of doubt when they first crack their manuscript to begin revising it down. Down being the operative word; gone are a whole host of cliches (more than I would have thought I even knew), countless adverbs and other prose-weakening modifiers, and even one entire scene (which I imagine I'll hold onto for the DVD.) Gone are the first few paragraphs of nearly every chapter. Gone, I hope, are all my lapses into pedestrian writing, though I'll have to rely on the unkindness of strangers on that one.

I always thought that this would be the painful part. My precious words, being trimmed away willy-nilly. Instead, I find it really satisfying, and kind of fun. The pressure's off. After all, I made a novel out of nothing; rough, sure, but undeniably a novel. Making one I'm happy with out of that seems like a much smaller step.