Why I’m not a brain surgeon

The beautiful part of writing is that you don’t have to get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon. You can always do it better, find the exact word, the apt phrase, the leaping simile.     ~ Robert Cormier

I’m revising this month, together in spirit  with jbknowles and her enthusiastic January Revision Club: cfaughnan, eluper, thunderchikin, d_michiko_f, castellucci, ebenstone, dlanthomas, rj_anderson, lisaalbert, resurrection, jmprince, whiskersink, and beeleigh312.

I’m on my first revision pass on a chapter book currently titled PRINCESS MARTY FROG SLIME AND THE NUTCRACKER BALLET.  It’s too long in some places, too short in others.  The characters talk too much in some places, not enough in others.  It’s random and messy in some places, and there are two minor characters that I introduced in the second chapter and then left to rot. (I have a bad habit of doing that.  You never want to be one of my minor characters…) 

But you know what?  Parts of it are funny and true and almost wonderful.  I keep reminding myself of that while I revise.  I bet parts of your WIP are like that, too.  Revision is sort of like mining for precious minerals.  You have to hang out in the dusty dark hacking away at a lot of junk to find the good stuff.  Not a great strategy for brain surgeons, but perfect for those of us who write for kids.

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