Posted By on March 13, 2012

I’m editing both my stuff and contest stuff.

But I have a whole quiet day to do it in. For my stuff, I’m remembering several story points/characterization changes as I go. I’ve put them on sticky notes on my laptop. When I was in school, writing anything down made me remember it. If I wrote French vocabulary words one time, they lodged in my head. I still use that method to remember all the problems I need to fix from one end of a manuscript to the other.

For my stuff, I’m narrowing my focus. I need to get from here to the end, covering these themes and managing that growth arc, culling the extraneous stuff I tossed in because I “might” need it.

Contest entries demand an opposite kind of effort. I have to keep an open mind so that I don’t make decisions based on how I would write a story. I can’t even decide whether I like or dislike what I’m reading. I have to test whether it makes good story sense.

You know what I’d really like to do? Read a book I’ve chosen to read. Lose myself in a story I haven’t written, that I can read for fun.

Maybe one of the contest entries (first twenty-five pages) will be a story like that–but then I’ll be all mad I can’t finish it!

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