making the choices

Evolution, transformation – perpetual motion. New shapes, new forms. Having finished the novel some time ago, after multiple edits, it became clear that one more pass at it was necessary. An intense experience, to take the apparently finished product, and find it opening out again to reveal new shapes, new chapters, a different structure. Editing and revising can sometimes be the most rewarding part of the always intense experience that is being a writer. I used to find the complete opposite when I was starting out. The initial burst of creation was the thing back then; the beautiful coalescing of underlying emotional structures, the elements of a dream forming into a specific memory. That draft would contain all its possibilities. I used to prefer that stage, because it contained the possibility of the final perfect version of the vision. One of the most important things I learned though, was the importance, and the sheer joy, of locking in the possibilities. Making them real and vivid. Making the choices. In the first draft, all the different directions, mixes, and edits are all there. It’s like the demo version of a song, or the rough cut of a movie. It seemed like a herculean task to move the piece beyond that stage. But the process of editing is now the most exciting part of the enterprise. Taking that raw material and shaping it, sculpting its new form, its true beauty. Adding the soundtrack, fixing the visuals, moving scenes around, shooting new material. Adding the sheen that pulls everything together. And the momentum continues when you adapt the work from one form to another, changing everything, throwing it all into a new light. A story becoming a poem, a novel becoming a script; evolutions and revelations abound.

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