Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Time a Writer Can Put into One Sentence.

The Time a Writer Can Put into One Sentence.

In "Love, Sex, and Understanding the Universe," - which is written in first person from the character Jim's perspective - Jim mentions, in one sentence, what a particular sexual situation he had was like. I wrote that sentence and kept writing. When rereading what I wrote that day, the sentence struck me as lacking. I rewrote it. Later, in an edit, I realized I still didn't like the way it sounded and rewrote it again. This time I struggled some but left another not great sentence in it's place. In another edit - in which I specifically was working on all the places where I let myself be lazy in the writing - I struggled some more. This time I wasn't going to let myself off the hook. I put it aside after several attempts, to rework the next day. That day I had a talk with Jim (my fictional character) out-loud as I was driving to the store. I said, "I'm not getting this. Something is wrong. Somehow I don't really have a feel for what that was like for you. You have to open up to me Jim; you have to tell me what you two did that night." I was a bit shocked by what he revealed, understood his reluctance to tell me, but finally got the sentence to my satisfaction. I don't tell the readers what Jim told me, just conveyed the sentiment that summed up the experience for him. It wasn't even an important part of the book - other than every sentence is an important part of the book.


  1. They say it is okay to talk to yourself
    as long as you don't answer.

    You have it covered well
    by not revealing what Jim said.

    Bravo!!...write on...write on...
    let no rock be not unturned...

  2. Thank you; I appreciate the encouragement! I wonder how many people would buy the idea that when our fictional characters talk to us it's not the same as talking to one's self?