Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Polishing and Tinkering

Last Saturday, I brought a couple snippets of my newly transformed manuscript to critique group. Faithful blog readers will remember that my protagonist and his love interest changed places. This was the first time anyone had read the new stuff.

It was greeted with faint praise. 

Of course I was discouraged.

Then I realized that I’d lapsed into polishing and tinkering, and the manuscript isn’t ready. The do-si-do draft (where the characters changed places) was a quantum-shift revision. I need to embark on another. My protagonist’s personality, which is completely different from my previous protagonist’s personality, must shine from every sentence. 

Polishing and tinkering is simple, seductive and fast, so it’s easy to be lulled into revision complacency. I thank my critique group for waking me up and getting me back with the program.


Natalie Aguirre said...

Yes, I lapse into the tweaking too. It's sometimes hard to hear what critique partners say but so valuable.

Debbie Diesen said...

Ann, I think you were at a different critique group session than I was! My take on the reaction was that everyone was very pleased by the results of your change. I don't feel for a moment that the manuscript was merely at some polished/tinkered with phase. We believe in this story and in the strength of your writing - so should you!!

Ann Finkelstein said...

Thanks Debbie. I hope to delve deeper in the next draft.

Kim Van Sickler said...

That's exactly what I did with Grizelda before I bit the bullet and consolidated two books into one. Tinkering is easier, but when I was still left with an unwieldy manuscript I realized all I did by tinkering was waste time putting off the inevitable.