Confession of an Acts Murderer

15 Aug

This is one of about 529 similar photos my son sends to my phone photo album from the Elmo app. Maybe that’s me, lurking with a fro in the sunflowers, waiting to strike.

On the upside, I’ve survived the first four weeks of the Writer’s Digest Writing Your Novel Scene by Scene  online workshop and have written a handful of new scenes that I feel pretty good about. The bad news? Well, I’ve become a serial scene killer.

See, I had written six chapters in the past that I thought were pretty good, too. But now, I can see more in them that I want to change than keep. For example, I’ve learned that adverbs are the devil, at least in dialogue tags. Tab-ewwww. Now I know.

Last week I took on a freelance project that took up almost all of my daytime hours. As a result, I didn’t have time to develop the second scene that was due as assignment by Sunday night, midnight. So what did I do at 11:55pm? I decided to send one of the old scenes with the new one I had completed, explaining to my teacher what I was doing.

My and my new BFF at McD’s. Love me my sausage egg McGriddles and Diet Coke.

When his review came back Monday, I realized I had been ‘caught.’ But in a good way. He was good with the new scene but pointed out valid problems with the other. Rereading the old scene, I was pretty horrified at what I had once thought was passable. But then, I realized that what pursuingthemuse had recently told me was true. It’s a good sign to hate what you wrote in the past. It means you’re getting better!

No more old scenes, I promised my professor (and myself). Not unless I had seriously butchered them first and reassembled better. That’s what writers do, I guess: Create. Kill. Recreate. Learn More. Kill Again. Create. All part of the process of honing this craft of words. Speaking of which, WriteOnCon started today. If you missed it, here’s a great feature on the Importance of Craft.

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3 Responses to “Confession of an Acts Murderer”

  1. Genevieve Petrillo August 15, 2012 at 6:35 am #

    Butchering is a good thing for the story AND for the Sausage McGriddle. Yum.

    • charmingthemuse August 15, 2012 at 8:12 am #

      Haha, yes! Thanks for making the metaphorical conx I was missing. 🙂

  2. ticklingthemuse August 18, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

    YES! Killing off the darlings – I did a post on that one, too! It’s okay – if you feel bad, you can put them into a separate doc (I call mine “pieces and parts” for just in case, though I’ve never touched that doc again). I’m editing mine for the bazillionth time. I guess I’m a glutton for punishment. Just know you’re not alone!!! =) ❤

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