I haven’t been posting these days because I have been in a different head space.
Part of that has to do with the novel I’m writing. It needs major trimming – about 15,000 words – before it’s ready for the proofreader. I can make the cuts from areas that, frankly are more atmospheric – they don’t affect the throughline of the story and slow the pace down. It’s similar to that message you get when a movie is shown on television – they have edited the content to fit into the timeframe. Same idea.
But these cuts, while necessary, hurt, because I wrote them to better define the relationships, the moments between characters. You feel how much Amy really hurts when she feels isolated, or how confused Rose gets as her connection grows and changes. But these moments aren’t essential, and they can be hinted at elsewhere, so to the cutting room floor they go.
Along the way, I’ve been asked for advice as a writer as well, and the cuts I’ve made there have been no less unkind. I keep forgetting that not everyone approaches this art with the level of dedication, with the understanding of what they really need. But that doesn’t mean their efforts aren’t valid, just misguided, As a writer, my role should be to gently point out the misconceptions and start them looking in the right direction. Instead, I basically went drill instructor on them, and probably scared them away, at least from asking me for any further advice, if not from writing in general.
Really. Dumb. Move.
In the end, I need to remember the truth – everyone can produce something of worth, given time, patience and understanding.