Monday, December 03, 2007

Unhurried Tinkering

"Good rewriting demands easy, unhurried tinkering with words. Each unsuccessful try eliminates another wrong solution and leads you to the right one. I can’t emphasize too strongly how important this is, the fact that writing leads to writing, that failed attempts lead to eventual success, that the solution to a rewriting problem is made up of all the attempts that led nowhere." - Dorothy Bryant, novelist (I made no note of where I got this quote from when I copied it into my journal).

And here's John Gardner again, whom I've quoted before...

"Fiction ... begins with a rough sketch. One gets down the characters and their behavior any way one can, knowing the sentences will have to be revised, knowing the characters’ actions may change. It makes no difference how clumsy the sketch is – sketches are not supposed to be polished and elegant. All that matters is that, going over and over the sketch as if one had all eternity for finishing one’s story, one improves now this sentence, now that..."

Just more examples of taking Baby steps.