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Applying the Principles, continued - The Motive Center
November 17th, 2004
10:24 pm


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Applying the Principles, continued
So how do you manage rewriting if you don't want to quit? Here are some ideas...

1. Get some outside input. Worked for Tolkien! Use a workshop, post online, or, if you intend to publish, start looking for an agent. If you get one, let the agent make recommendations, and an editor thereafter. Remember Heinlein's Law: "Only rewrite to editorial order."

2. Set some structure around yourself; once you've reached a point where you think it is good enough, start sending it out or posting it or whatever, and start something else while you wait for a response. Force yourself to move on!

This is difficult, because it is linked to your motivation. It's one reason why I love this quote from W. Arthur Rydee:

"A masterpiece requires two people--one to create it, and one to stand behind him with a club to hit him when it is finished."

Words to live by!

(2 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:November 17th, 2004 09:51 pm (UTC)
Interesting stuff, Steve. The quote, especially! Again, though painting isn't writing, there are similarities. One of the hardest things is knowing when to stop painting, before all spontineity is lost, but after the image is well fleshed out. I've also heard many painters worked on more than one canvas at a time as they, too wanted to push on but weren't quite ready.

Thanks for posting!
[User Picture]
Date:November 18th, 2004 07:26 pm (UTC)

Creating a masterpiece

Thought you'd like the quote. It made me think! I think your point on painting is well taken--and frankly, I think the same motive powers visual as written art. I know just enough about art myself to have experienced a bit of what you describe--my rough sketches have more life to them than careful drawings.

I wonder if the advent of computers can help with this problem--just keep saving drafts, and if you go too far, go back one!
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