Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday's Inspiration - C. J. Cherryh

I've been a fan of C. J. Cherryh for many years. This is one of the science fiction writers I really enjoy. I was pleased to come by a quote from her that sent me to the keyboard. I don't write science fiction but this quote struck home. Sure hope I follow her advice.

"It's perfectly okay to write garbage - as long as you edit brilliantly." C. J. Cherryh

I know when I start a new fictional work the words just flow and I don't try to stop them. Some scenes are fully written and others are sketched out. Once what ever's in my head is down on paper,comes the fun and different thought. There are times when I read a section and I shake my head. What is this monologue doing here? Where did this scene come from? This is garbage. Then I have to decide why I put that series of words in that particular place.

Do I edit brilliantly? That I can never be sure I've done but I hope I have. Taking a passage that bumbles along and turning it into a scene with meaning is part of the writing trade. I do envy people who get it right the first time but that's not the way I write. What I do is take that garbage and turn it into a story that pleases me and hopefully pleases one of my editors and the readers. Like those artists who look at junk they find along the side of the road or at the dump and turn then into works of art, writers often take a garbage of words and turn them into a story that sends people to buy their books.

What about you? Do you look at those words you wrote and shake your head. "This is garbage!" Do you then look at those words and begin the process of editing brilliantly?

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