Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Choppity Chop


It's just a fact of life for an author: not all words are the Right Words. Sure, you can write entire scenes, push your word count/page count up there, but if the words are all wrong, then it's time to make the tough choice.

The Choppity Chop Choice.

Yes, I have a choppity chop file for each of my WIPS. It's where the Wrong Words go when they've been banished. Sometimes, the Wrong Words get a reprieve, and are allowed back in the WIP. But that's only after they promise to behave themselves and enchance the WIP, rather than cause me to suffer from Musetipation.

The story, ya see, must go in the right direction. If it's busy going down a rabbit trail, then it's time to assess what the problem is, exactly, and find a treatment. Heh. Sometimes the treatment is as simple as a tweak. Other times, however, the more drastic CHOPPITY CHOP must be prescribed.

Now, just because they're the Wrong Words at the moment, doesn't mean they'll be the Wrong Words further on down the line. This is why, rather than consigning the Wrong Words to oblivion, I put them in a special file all their own. Who knows when you might need 'em?

Sometimes, when the Muse gets stuck, it's simply a matter of taking a look at what you've already written, and making the hard choice to remove parts. I did that just a couple days ago, removing 20 whole pages. That's a record for me, I'll admit it. But yanno what? Once those 20 pages of Wrong Words made it to the choppity chop file... the Muse started to sing.

Happy New Year!

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