Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Time Out For a Laugh or Two
How to Tell Your Writing is not C-R-A-P
by Tracy Farr
Let's be honest -- you are not Ernest Hemingway, I am not Charles Dickens, and your next door neighbor is not Stephen King (unless your next door neighbor IS Stephen King, then good for you!). Of course, we all dream that our names will one day be mentioned in the same breath as these masters, but it won't happen unless we do the one thing they all did (or doing -- sorry Mr. King):
Revise, Revise, Revise.
Everything you first write down is C-R-A-P! Nothing comes out great the first time. That's why you edit, revise, copy, paste, destroy, give mouth to mouth, slap, jab, throw down, pick up, edit again, realize it's still C-R-A-P and start all over again. And you keep doing that until it's NOT C-R-A-P!
Do you think the great writers of our time just sit down at their computers and type heavenly-blessed stories without revising the crap out of them? Heavens no! And if you think you can, then someone needs to knock the crap out of YOU until you get it through your thick skull that you can't.
As writers, we revise, revise, revise; edit, edit and then re-edit. We change this, we rearrange that, we try the third paragraph in a different spot or delete it all together. And if we're lucky, some editor will accept our story and only ask us to revise just a LITTLE bit more crap out of it.
Revision is the name of the game, and if you're not willing to do that, your game will end long before the opening kickoff.
And how will you know when your story's not C-R-A-P?
I don't know. I'm still working on that part.
Posted by Maryann Miller with Tracy's permission. He likes to share his humor here with a few more people than read his blog, which by the way is pretty darn funny. Trust me. He isn't paying me a penny to say that.
Maryann's Web site