As i plow through the final run through of my first novel, editing down and polishing each chapter and scene, something has become pretty clear. A lot has changed about my writing style these last three years of writing.
I came out to LA thinking I already knew it all. It happens a lot to artists. You go through your college courses and suddenly think that makes you a hot item. If you ask me, vanity is what does the most damage to art, when people are so full of themselves they think there’s nothing more to learn about their chosen craft. It’s why you see some artists who never get off the ground, and others that fall from their throne.
The ass beating I got out here over the next three years was good for me I think, because it only made me dive deeper into the work which meant the most to me. Since then, I’ve dug stuff out of my book I never thought myself capable of doing.
This was most obvious during my run through of my latest chapter. Chapter 8 of my novel was largely intended as a pace holder, with a little exposition to set up my villain and some world building. Hardly what you’d call a significant moment, but a necessary one. In this last draft however, some kind of magic happened, that kind you feel when your fingers start tearing through the keyboard like someone on the disco floor.
I wrote a two page scene that ended up becoming perhaps the most significant moment in the entire book. It’s been happening more and more, moments of clarity when the true purpose of a story or scene comes out. You don’t have time to feel stupid for missing it before it has already been written down.
Sometime’s it’s hard to not gush over your work. They’re like your children, and whenever they learn to walk or speak, you want to tell the world. Well, my kid seems to be doing very well, almost ready to run a marathon.
Getting over myself seems to have been a big part of the change, because it’s not and never has been about me. It’s always about the story. Realizing that has been liberating.