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Archive for October, 2007

Know When To Say When

There is a piece of advice for writers that I have heard or read many times over the years. Continue working on a story, it says, revising and polishing until it is as good as it can possibly be. On the one hand, I like this advice because it emphasizes the importance of revision in the writing process. On the other hand, I’ve decided to stop revising my first novel, even though I know that it isn’t “as good as it could be.” After making several major changes on the fifth re-write, it dawned on me that if I were to continue revising it until I was completely satisfied, I would spend the rest of my life on that one project.

I wonder if any writer gets to the point where they feel a piece is perfect, that there isn’t a single thing they could do to make it better. Is that something that I will learn over time –not to settle, not to cut my losses, but to craft a story that is as good as I can make it? Or is that simply an ideal to strive for but not a tangible goal?

On the plus side, I feel pretty good about how the first revision of novel #2 (the sequel) is coming along.

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Nom De Plume

I’ve been thinking, lately, about adopting a pseudonym. I write science fiction, mostly, and some of what would probably be labeled “mainstream.” That stuff would continue to be produced under my real name. I also like writing horror, and I think that my efforts in that genre might benefit from a stage name. First, I’d like something that would lend the proper atmosphere to the story that is to follow. My name in the byline is not likely to grab the reader’s attention. Second, I think having a pseudonym would allow me to assume a whole different persona when writing horror. Not that I’m trying to create a disguise to hide behind; it would be more like donning a Halloween costume. There’s that one part of our personalities that we keep hidden during our day-to-day lives, allowing it one night a year to take center stage. I think that having a pseudonym would allow me to channel that portion of my personality more effectively.

It’s worth a shot, right?

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