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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Counting the Cost of Taking a Risk


Presently, I'm enjoying a rare and totally self-indulgent day to myself, afforded to me by the always hoped for, sometimes prayed for, ever welcomed event called the "snow-day."

Being that I work in a preschool, when the upper grades in the district have a call for a delay, we have the day off. I was really hoping for this one, and I got it... YAY!

I don't want you to think that I don't absolutely love my job... I do! It's just that I've had so much activity in my life, that I desperately needed some me-time. Today is "Me O'Clock!"

So, I plumped up my pillows, grabbed my current non-fiction read, a cup of coffee, covered up with my warm, cozy quilts and simply enjoyed the morning. Then the time came to take my 11 yr-old to school, shovel the drive, and sit down to catch up on my blog. So, here I am. The laundry can wait.

On the writing front, I've not gotten very far with my current revisions. (Are you honestly shocked by this? I think not.) However, I'm slowly, but surely, poking along. I'm trying to decide a few things about direction. I'm rethinking some advice an agent gave me. Yet, I'm not so sure that I want to go in that direction. I have to decide if I'm honestly willing to change the "bones" that much. It would be a major change in my character. Actually, it would change a lot. Who am I kidding? Only the names would stay the same. Well, the premise would be the same, I guess.

I'm just trying to decide before I get too far in my fourth revision. Do I want to keep my original intent and stick with it through "hell or high water?" Or, do I take the advice and do a rewrite to make the whole thing more "marketable" to a different age group? This has been my inner debate for over a year. Same premise, different time frame in the life of my main character. Crap!

Up to this point, I've been somewhat stubborn and inflexible. Well, not totally inflexible. I did one rewrite with a flavor of the suggested changes incorporated. But, it wasn't ultimately the total transformation that may have worked. Or, would it?

I'm quite the purest at times, to a fault. I think that many of us as writers are. We have our moment of brilliant inspiration. We free write until our fingers bleed. We research and rewrite. We revise, revise, revise, revise... We believe in what we are saying to the point that we refuse to compromise our characters and who we see them as. We know them, intimately. We gave them life. They are real. Then, we are faced with the thought of changing them. These characters are created from the depths of our being. We bought into them. We believed in them and what they had to say.

Then, when we are presented with other thoughts and directions, we have a decision to make. Do we remain pure and faithful to our initial inspiration and consequent plot-line? Or, do we take the input, and break-down our character to mere shadows of their original self? That is the question. Will they end up a Frankenstein or will it be a beautiful rebirth of someone we loved?

It's a gamble. But, isn't that what this industry is? One big fat gamble? Some writers are fortunate enough to roll the right combination. Others are not so lucky. Either way, there's no winning without the risk. I just have to decide how much risk I'm willing to take. My decision means the difference between a mere revision (I say that "tongue in cheek") and a complete rewrite.

Hmmmmm... I'll have to get back with you all on this one.

xoxo CJ

P.S. "High stakes yield high success." - Donald Maass

Shoe Mood:


Enjoying it while it lasts!

5 comments:

Bish Denham said...

That would be a difficult decision for me. I realize a certain about of revision is needed/wanted. But at the same time, as writer we have to stay true to ourselves.

Nora MacFarlane said...

You can always give it a go. If it doesn't look like it'll work. You'll still have your original drafts.Good luck with the decision.

CJ Raymer said...

Thanks ladies! I was having a hard day with it all. I began on one note and totally ended off the charts! LOL! xoxo

Bish Denham said...

CJ! I know you're out there. And I feel strongly that you deserve/need the AWARD I'm passing on to you. I hope you'll come by and check it out.

Nishant said...

You'll still have your original drafts.Good luck with the decision.
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