Wednesday, February 4, 2009


When I'm stuck or trying to figure out a way to tackle a big nebulous aspect of the work, I'm usually pretty good at inventing little exercises to get me focused. Sometimes you just need to turn to page one and dive in, and sometimes you need to walk around the lake a few laps and see what you're dealing with. That's where I am now, and I expect I will be for at least a few days--maybe a couple weeks.

At the end of today's work, I jotted down a couple ideas for exercises that will help me get focused. e.g. For each chapter, write one sentence about how it furthers the essential story line as I understand it. (I've done this kind of thing several times during the revision. It's my understanding of the essential story line that keeps changing.) I'll start with that tomorrow.

As I do that and similar exercises, I expect necessary changes in each of the chapters to make themselves apparent. They'll pile up into a kind of to-do list, and at a certain point I'll feel like I have enough confidence to get started actually making the changes. I'll try not to rush in, because I know the longer I can stick with the exercises, the sharper and more informed my rewrites/revisions/edits will be later.

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