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Fleet Feet Tweet #3

Fleet Feet Tweets: Tweets that have bunny-hopped to my blog for those who don’t do Twitter. They are listed here in chronological order, top to bottom. Previous week tweets (fun to say: “weeks’s tweets”) are in blog posts below. The intention is to offer a journal of the creative process, as I revise my new middle grade novel, Smooch, and try to write my first YA novel, Fracture Lines. If you are a Twitterite, follow me at @TomBirdseye1.

Split shift: half revising, half new. The third half, which is much bigger than the other two halves, is on student work. How’s that math?

As a kid I thought revision was punishment; teachers made us do it out of meanness. Now my writing is mostly rewriting, and I love it. Yup.

My favorite scene from the Wizard of Oz? When the witch melts. What a relief! Snow melting outside my window? Kinda sad. Life is transitory.

What is it about water and breakthrough ideas for my novel? Get stuck, take a shower. Aha moments rain down. Waterproof pen & paper needed.

Chapter titles. Usually I wait until later, but this time they keep popping up. We’ll see if they stand the test of time . . .

40 years ago today my father died. Valentine’s Day for me is a mix: celebrating love, and remembering a life cut way too short.

Editorial work for my VCFA students done, now back to my middle grade novel, retitled Smooch. Also my YA, working title — Fracture Lines.

Is it okay to send the Muse a Valentine? I love her, really I do.

Entering a scene? Sure, en media res, in the midst of things, is good. But how, exactly, and still anchor the reader? Playing with this.

 Okay, so maybe it looks like I’m escaping reality by writing all day. But nope, I’m looking for it.

 Printing out each scene and laying it out on the counter so I can see it all in one swoop. Gives new meaning to the term “big picture.”

 I’m having trouble taking Faulkner’s advice. Too many “darlings” left on the page. Need to practice non-attachment and edit ruthlessly. Now. 

 That’s better — 25 pages edited out. Not done yet. Trim the fat. Stuff the fluff. Make every word count.

 Not sure how to condense and smooth out this scene. Time for a muddy run up Bald Hill. Solutions usually come by the third switchback.

My creative function must be in slow gear today. I didn’t figure out what was wrong with that scene until I was back at the trailhead.

What goes away, comes another day. Sailing through revisions on the middle grade novel, and essential, must-have research done on the YA.

Saw a high school production of Fiddler on the Roof last night. What keeps popping into my head, even as I write? Sound track:”Tradition!”

My protagonist is behind the wheel, driving the story. Well, I’m behind the wheel, too. Does that make us co-authors?

This morning it’s Mozart for composing, with words.

 Initial revision pass complete. Now for an analytical look at the character and dramatic arc, then revise again. And again. And again . . .

Sometimes you don’t know how to begin a story until you get to the end. Revising again, now with a clearer eye on where I am headed. Nice.

With my dying mother in SC these last two weeks. Everything else seemed inconsequential. Now, writing about it helped: