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So I’m at about the halfway mark in my revisions
and am very pleased with the changes I’ve made.
I met with Claudia the day before I left for Florida
and went over the chapters I’d revised plus
mapped out a strategy for the next chapters.
Claudia said many nice things about my work
and pumped up my enthusiasm for pushing ahead.
I took my trusty notebook and pages on the plane the next day,
and worked and worked from those notes
(plus had a delicious margarita with my pb & j sandwich).
And I realized something:
I wasn’t wrong to love CLOSE TO HOME as it was written before;
it’s a great story with complex characters.
I really had created a good picture.
The problem was, the picture was slightly off.
Blurry and confusing in places.
But with Claudia’s help, I’m bringing the picture/story into focus.
So my big epiphany is that we should never say our manuscripts suck
(I’ve said that and other awful things, and am going to try hard to never say such things again).
The truth is, when you write a book, you’ve created a unique word picture.
A picture that no one else in the whole wide world could paint.
And while it is possibly true that you could have employed better word choice,
or maybe used those same words in a different order,
or given more thought to how and when your characters speak their words,
that stuff is all fixable.
Writing novels isn’t like photography.
If part of our stories seem out of focus,
we can go back in there to bring clarity.
I’m really, really glad I didn’t give up on CLOSE TO HOME.