Back-to-School Writing

Buy one!  Get the second one half off!   That’s what a good percentage of the signs seemed to read at the mall today.  I didn’t study them very carefully though.  My college-age daughters were doing their back-to-school shopping.  I came along to bankroll the expedition.  But instead of watching them try on things,  I was back to that Chapter 1 that has been causing me so many problems. 

Last Wednesday, my critique group gave me some ideas for adjusting the time-line of events.  It allowed me to raise the stakes for my main character.  I know that I was more than a bit stressed out on her behalf.  And while sitting out in the mall today, I might have even found the right words for the first page.  At the very least, I think I’ve found the words that will let me move on.  I’ll find out whether things are working as I’d hoped after I get some feedback from an on-line critique group.

Wrestling with words has always been hard, but delightful work.  Some things don’t change.  Here’s a poem that I pulled together in high school that still sums things up rather well.

I wish I could express myself
In ways both clear and accurate
That every nuance, every thought
Could be written as I want.

I have not gained the skills I need
For finding ways to capture words.
So stories float around instead
Of lying flat on a printed page.


My parents always feature some event on their Christmas card. This is the year I graduated.
My parents always feature some event on their Christmas card. This is the year I graduated.

Well, I have gotten some stories to lie down.  I’ll look for this great quote by Elizabeth Peters that describes the process well.

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