Category: Revising a Manuscript

Patience–no residue or wake

A concept in spiritual practices that I’ve been exploring in my work is that of leaving no residue. If we live authentically and according to our deepest intentions, our actions leave no residue of discomfort or remorse. Some refer to this as causing no…

Shop Talk: Character-Driven

Character-driven: it’s a phrase that’s become so common in reviews and articles about publishing that it’s in danger of becoming a cliche–perhaps it already has. But I live with the reality of a character-driven career. I am haunted, teased, cajoled, intrigued, scolded by my…

Plotting Is Like Conducting

As I wrapped up an extensive (36 page) plan for the rewrite today, checking it over, seeing that the subplots poked up at the right moments, that I’d not neglected any of the main characters at any point, I felt as if I were…

Autumn and revisions

How quickly the month advances. It must be autumn now–I made oatmeal this morning after shivering on the way to yoga class. The sun is shining, that slanted autumn light so welcome after days of mist and fog. Though I love walking in the…

Shop Talk: Inspiration = What Haunts You

I highly recommend a piece in the opinion pages of the NYT today, a conversation between Colm Toibin and Jeffrey Eugenides, “The Stuff That Won’t Go Away”. I’ve copied below the part that resonated with me. As I rewrite the ms-that-was-formerly-known-as-The-Hero’s-Wife (haven’t yet replaced the…