It wasn’t so very long ago that I wrote a blog post called One Hundred Pages about my grouchiness when my writing group thought I might try to cut down part of my manuscript by about a third. It seemed impossible, but it turns out it wasn’t. It seemed like it would be tortuous. From this point about two months later, I’d say it mostly hurt at first, like the proverbial bandaid, but my husband says, no, I’ve been grumbling throughout. I hope not every day. There definitely is an ouch element to stripping away what you painstakingly constructed. But as I hacked out holes, I found new things to insert. Putting one scene against another brought out new elements in both. There’s definitely more muscle to the piece, less sag. I’m thankful to my writing group for raising the bar, even if I know I’ll grumble again. I’ve still got the second part of this manuscript to bring them.
But for most of the summer, I’ll be working on that in solitude, hoping to keep that manuscript on its healthy diet (thanks for the metaphor, Ellen!) and working out every day: no excess conversations! No lumpy descriptions! I’m glad I did the trimming (can we use the word trim? I’m trying to stay away from hacking away) and glad to embark on new material, cheered on by facebook friends – Thank you! I’ll be doing the best I can to get everything right as it felt during a walk with my friend Jess around The New England Peace Pagoda today. The world is so beautiful. Sometimes we don’t need to add much.