Monday, November 15, 2010

Starting From Scratch

When I started the first novel I wrote, I had no idea what I was doing. After a professional manuscript evaluation and some college courses on creative writing, it was just over two years to get my completed manuscript.

Now I'm ready to start novel project #2, and I'm looking at the two years worth of work that it took to get #1. There is a full shelf of binders in my reading room containing edited-out pieces of my first manuscript. How do I prevent the unneeded work for the second one? Now that I've finished one, the second should be a peice of cake, right?

Then I read something in Robert McKee's book entitled "Story" that set me back on track:

"If your finished screenplay contains every scene you've ever written, if you never thrown an idea away, if your rewriting is little more than tinkering with dialogue, your work will almost certianly fail. No matter our talent, we all know in the midnight of our souls that 90 percent of what we do is less than our best.... if you then make brilliant choices to find that 10 percent of excellence and burn the rest, every scene will fascinate and the world will sit in awe of your genius." -Robert McKee in "Story".

So plunk away I will. Gotta get that 100% out so I can skim the 90% off the top to get the 10% genius out of it. If at the end I don't have another shelf full of editing binders, I know I will have failed.

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