I love the freedom of writing. Being able to come up with something new and fun and (often) exciting. I love the quiet time all to myself with no stress to get something done by a dead line.
So, why did I just finish the orientation for a new online writing class?
I am officially feeling over my head! Thank-you-very-much!
I can hear the voice in my head singing "Pressure! You really don't do well with pressure...are you sure you want to do this?"
Yes! I do. This is the next logical step. It is a free class that is, after the first week, peer review. So, its a good format to get a lot of other writerly folk to take a look at my writing and give an honest opinion.
And its free.
And I have found out the past six months that every critique, no matter how painful, offers wisdom and understanding into your own writing. I know I need this now. The novel is shaping up so beautifully. But there is dross that needs to be burned away. There is excess that I need the courage to dump out of the story.
Self-editing is like cleaning a room ( like a boys bedroom full of scattered Legos...okay, not that bad!). You have lots of good stuff in there. There is stuff you need, like a bed, a dresser, a light, a closet. But if that's all you have, the room would not be inviting. It would be bland. So you have to figure out what, of all the junk you just collected off the walls, floors, under the beds, behind the dressers and stuffed in the corners of the closets...what do you really want. What fits the style of the person inhabiting the room, the purpose of the room, the theme, the atmosphere. Then its time to throw the rest of it out. Because otherwise, it just clutters the place up.
You don't have to literally throw it out. But perhaps repurpose it in another room or save in a box for later. I.E. That character/setting/line would be perfect if I had a story about...
So keep it, just not in the manuscript. Print it out, file it away and pull it out again when you're searching for the next jumping off point. Someday that bit will find its place, and it will be beautiful there.
So, I open my mind and my arms to the critiques. Let me hear what is working and what isn't. I want my writing tight, beautiful, moving, without all the extra that bogs it down.