Sunday, August 30, 2009

I've been hard at work on the rewrite for Choice, now going by the name The Alter of Dead Pets. I don't know if that title will stick much longer than any of my other ones, but I'll see how it goes.

The fall semester has started and my classes are, once again, just what I need including, finally, a class on REVISION. I'm excited. Finally. The mysterious-yet-crucial-all-writing-is-rewriting process explored. And just as I've gotten to work in earnest on my rewrite and have been discovering for myself, that, yes, all writing is rewriting. I could have saved myself a lot of worry about getting the necessary compression and density if I had just realized what the process looked like for me. The initial draft is like experiencing an event - I have to go through it once to know what happened and when and to whom. The rewrite is where the story-telling happens. It's the difference between living your day and telling your spouse about it later - you naturally edit out the mundane, quotidian stuff, compress events, and add layers of meaning to events that link to previous days' experiences or that have special significance. Same thing with the rewrite. Now that I know the story, I can actually tell the story. I'm finding it much easier to deal effectively with my narrative dilemma (having a first person, present tense 14 year-old narrator) than in the initial draft because I've got the narrative distance I need Matt to have in order to give depth to the events of the story.

And, of course, because I wouldn't be me if I didn't engage in a little self-abuse, I realize the writing would have gone a lot quicker if I had realized that the initial draft was just a blue print for what I was actually going to be writing - I wouldn't have sweated it so much and just written the dang thing. Of course, being totally truthful and even-handed with myself, I haven't procrastinated on this draft all that much considering it only really said, "hey, I'm a novel" last summer. It just feels that way because I began working on this piece as a short story ten years ago.

I realized I've gotten behind in my updates on the blog - there wasn't a lot to report on over the summer and I was pretty much out of commission due to migraines that kept hitting every two to three days for the past two months. I have finally identified the trigger as caffeine and cut caffeine out completely. I feel much better. But I realized I never posted pics from the City Hall showing of my residency work. So here are some pics of the City Hall installation of "Now I Know my ABC's":

A close-up of "A is for angel in a holy night/ B is for blue glass bowl broken in spite" with wall tags:

Unfortunately, I neglected to get pics of the other artwork in the show, but that's okay, the main piece with the ABC poem. I think it looked great displayed in a line rather than in a grid like we had for the residency show, but I actually like both ways of showing it. This was just easier and allowed the wall tags to be connected to the items.

Well, it's off to bed now. Blog entries should become more frequent again since I'm back in school and taking another class with the professor who started me on working notes plus the rewrite on Choice/Alter will keep me coming back here to talk about revision.

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