When we put the first words of a story on paper, the images and events we imagine as we write have the power to move us. Because we see each scene fully formed in our minds, we are under the illusion that what we have written conveys to a reader the same power that moved us. Once we’ve written “the end” it requires no further effort, right?
I don’t know about your work, but usually, at that stage my manuscript reads like a laundry list.
The trick is to understand that, while the first draft has many passages that shine, more of what we have written is only promising. The first draft contains the seeds of what we believe we have written. Like a sculptor, we must work to shave away the detritus and reveal the truth of the narrative.
One way we do this is by injecting subtly…
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