Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hot Sunday #1: get me rewrite!

I've had an unusually productive weekend, the kind that I hope won't be unusual anymore. Up and at the keyboard writing first thing in the morning both yesterday and today. Something clicked with the story I'm working on and it finally started showing itself to me. Till now it had mostly been scaring me. This is the most radical rewrite of an existing draft I've ever tackled, really a total revamp, a whole new story more or less with only the kernelist kernel of its core idea and perhaps some aspects of its main character surviving the slash. It's this, the looming, daunting prospect of starting more or less from scratch on a piece of work I'd much rather have to merely revise sentence by sentence than toss and concoct anew, that had me avoiding the blank screen. Now that I've forced myself to sit down and stare at it, hurrah hurrah the necessary words have begun to appear.

The story, which has to do with a Jewish woman who supports the Palestinian struggle and the resultant conflicts with her family, has been kicking around for several years now. I wrote it, rewrote it, rewrote it again. Showed it to my writing friend, took it to my writing group, all weighed in, I wrote it again ... And it's never quite worked. There are, I believe, some stretches of pretty good writing in it but as a story it had such major problems that I was finally able to acknowledge that its whole architecture was too flawed to sustain the whole. So I tore it down. And now I'm building it back up starting at the bottom. And it's interesting, and fun, and getting less scary by the hour.

As the hours advanced toward midday, however, the temperature rose into the 90s and I had to abandon my post. I'm satisfied, though. And relieved, as I always am when after a fallow period I get back to work and find that the words still flow.