Getting it Right – or Write

04 Feb

writing scrabble tilesYears ago I took an oil painting class. Oil paints dry very, very slowly. This allows the artist to fiddle and fidget with her work over a period of time, making changes here and there until the painting is just right. Or until she drop-kicks it in the dumpster and finds another canvas – whichever comes first.

Now I’m writing. I’ve found that, like oil painting, authors can fiddle and fidget with their work endlessly. Computers make this both easier and more difficult. Easier because cut and paste are wonderful inventions, wasting neither paper nor ink. More difficult because it’s hard to set the brake and say, “It is finished.”

Tweet This: Stuck in endless editing? Getting it right – or write – on the #QuidProQuills

How many ways can you say the same thing? More than I’d dreamed possible. Take something as easy as a character entering a room:

Donna eased the knob to the right and nudged the door open enough to peer inside. The room empty, she walked in.

With a sharp kick of her high heeled pump, Donna burst into the room. Empty chairs ringed the long wooden table.

Donna knocked twice with her heel. She juggled both grocery bags to one arm and fished her house key out of her coat pocket. She pushed open the door and yelled for help. Silence greeted her.

Is it any wonder writing a novel takes so long? So many choices, so much to fiddle and fidget with until it’s just right. Or until it meets the delete key – whichever comes first.

~ Pegg Thomas


Posted by on February 4, 2015 in Pegg Thomas, Writing


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2 responses to “Getting it Right – or Write

  1. Candice Sue Patterson

    February 4, 2015 at 8:42 am

    Agreed, Pegg, it’s a tough job sometimes. The other day, I stared at the computer screen for two hours until I got my opening paragraph just right (to me anyway). But does anything else make my heart sing the way writing does? Nope. Well, maybe reading…


  2. Jericha Kingston

    February 5, 2015 at 7:24 am

    Ain’t it so?! I’ve revised sentences so thoroughly, I didn’t know which revision was correct. After a while, the words tend to merge on the screen. But eventually, I *do* see improvements as I revise.



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