On Car Repair and Rewrites

This is one of the best analogies of editing / re-writing that I’ve seen. It perfectly captures the hard work that has to go into writing a novel, the necessity of it, the pain but also (hopefully) the joy of the final result … eventually.

WRITERS' RUMPUS

By Almitra Clay

As I have rewritten the manuscript of my novel, I’ve had a mental picture of myself: I’m a mechanic leaning so deep into a car’s innards that just my legs stick out. I’m pounding on something that probably shouldn’t be hit with a wrench. Every so often I yank out some part gross with rust and grease, which I toss over my shoulder onto the lawn.

Illustration by Almitra Clay Car repair, novel repair, it’s all the same. Right?

There are quite a lot of those parts lying around. Discarded chapters. Plot arcs. Characters.

So yeah, that first car was my NaNoWriMo draft. It was my first novel ever. I was ever so proud that I’d made a proper car-shaped thing that did what a car is supposed to do. It rolled! The horn honked! Never mind the duct tape, or the missing exhaust system, or that the whole thing would…

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Amber Glasses: Write Late, Sleep Well

Interesting article! I may try these, especially after my next late-night writing session. Generally I sleep OK but not quite as well as I used to, and that may partly be because I spend so much time staring at screens of one sort or another now. Also might help with my upcoming trip to India – got terrible jet-lag last time …

WRITERS' RUMPUS

By Marianne Knowles

Call it writer’s insomnia: You’re on a roll, writing for hours, late into the night. Finally, exhausted but accomplished, you save your work, back it up, switch off the computer, and fall into bed.

And then you stare at the darkness for an hour or more before finally nodding off. It’s so frustrating! You’re exhausted, so why can’t you go to sleep? Is your story too exciting? Are your characters too insistent?

Maybe. Or maybe it’s the blue light shining out of your computer screen and straight into your eyes.

Several recent scientific studies have demonstrated a connection between blue artificial light and insomnia. Early forms of artificial light — candles, campfires, and oil lamps — emit wavelengths only in the red, orange, and yellow parts of the spectrum. Sunlight contains the full range of visible wavelengths, from the longest (red) through the shortest (violet). Until…

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