Tearing Down, Rebuilding, Repeat

Since we last spoke, I’ve been taking all the wonderful advice I was given at Pitch Slam and tearing down (and rebuilding) the house formerly known as Spaghetti in Exile.

The process is as messy and complicated as one might expect. I’ve taken a hammer to sentences and paragraphs and even chapters I once held sacred. I’ve axed entire characters and plotlines altogether (and not in a murder mystery kind of way). I’ve chiseled and smoothed away a few rough edges and constructed a few new beams for support. Basically I’m one novel away from getting a show on the writer-y equivalent of HGTV.

You know how Anne Lamott suggested that writing should be approached “bird by bird” in her fantastic instruction manual? Well, this is definitely more of a brick by brick sort of situation. I feel like I built an Italian villa that’s smack dab in the middle of an art deco makeover. It’s still a house with walls and rooms and a fabulous kitchen, of course, but it’s taken on a new personality, a new look and feel—one that I feel suits it—and the reader—even better than before.

While I’m not exactly new to this process (I’ve written three other books in the past), I’m reminded yet again just how long and detailed and laborious the renovations process can be. It’s not something you can rush through, but it’s still best to have a fixed deadline in mind or you’ll find a million excuses not to sit at your desk and dig in.

So here goes, I’m about to fill you in on one of the big secrets of the writer’s life. Are you ready? One of the many funny things about writers and writing is that while we love to write and feel so much better after we’ve written like the famous Dorothy Parker quote says, we will also find almost any excuse to get out of it. Social media and endless Google searches (we insist they’re research, and many times, it’s true) usually play a starring role in distracting us, but speaking from my own experience, sometimes it’s also laundry, rearranging my cupboards and unloading the dishwasher.

Yes, sometimes I’ll choose HOUSEWORK over plopping my backside in my desk chair and putting the proverbial pen to paper. Sad but oh-so-true.

But as I continue the “tearing down, rebuilding and repeat” and move toward the deadline I’ve made for completing the novel’s renovation (it’s October 31, so feel free to mark that on your calendar along with your Halloween plans, LOL!), I’m excited to see what surprises await you and me. The story is already changing in ways I didn’t see coming, and I can’t wait for y’all to see what becomes of rearranging all these bricks, brick by brick. #amwriting #amediting #amrenovating

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One Comment

  1. Good for you Christa! Not an easy process, I’m sure. And I totally get what you mean about doing anything to get out of it. It’s a painful process.

    I can’t wait to read your completed work!

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