Thursday, May 3, 2012
The page 99 test
I looked at the 99th page of my WIP and it was...okay. It was polished enough to pass for writing, but not particularly engaging. It tells me I'll have to revisit that section. I'm not sure anyone who doesn't write can fully appreciate the self-control it takes to go back to a section you've revised a dozen times and decide that it's just not good enough. Think about it this way, if you were baking a cake, troweling a floor with grout, singing a jingle, pricing a project, deciding on whether a part of a business works, would you go over it a dozen times, and then decide to do it again? Now, that's just one page out of, oh, about 400. Then do the same for each chapter, and for each primary section of the book. It is a tedious, grueling task, and I have no doubt that most people don't make it in the writing world because they are too impatient and want to see what the results are of what they've done before they can honestly say they have pushed forth their best effort.
Bottom line is, do not assume your reader will accept a slow or dull part in the book, simply because you need it for a transition. I know I have a ton of work to do in my revisions.I pray I can make them half as good as the masters did when they wrote the classics.