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.
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  1. This post is an editor's dream statement! Thanks Tracy, and Maryann!

  2. Thanks for stopping by Kathryn. I'm glad people enjoy Tracy's twisted sense of humor. And I am so glad he shares that with us here.

  3. How true! How True!! Revision is my name in the game:)

  4. So true! And what most people fail to realise is that once your novel has found a home with an editor, they will usually want more revisions!

  5. No, no, no! You can't end there! I need the answer to the last question!

  6. I usually hate editing, but I've found it really helpful lately and I'm starting to enjoy it more. Hopefully I'll continue to like it until I write some pieces that I am really proud of.

  7. LOL, Joshua. I think we all have trouble figuring out what is C.R.A.P. Or maybe we really know, we just hate to cut those words. Always makes me think I am going backwards.


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