It can take me several years to get a novel out of my head and into print. I write, rewrite, consider it done, and rewrite it again. Why does it take so long to write even a short story? How is it that I can write a short story in a day or two but work on it for years, trying to get it just right?
I always begin with an excess of prose—don’t ask me why. It just is.
When I begin a project the words fall out of me in the form of “writers’ shorthand.”
I “tell” myself the story. Then, after it has sat for a while, I have to take each instance of hokey clichés, lurid description, and nonessential background information and rewrite. All of that bad writing is, for me, a framework to hang the real story on.
I make radical, surgical changes. Sometimes…
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