I’m back from school visits in

3/23/07 — I’m back from school visits in Michigan. Great trip. Great teachers doing great things with kids. Nice to see.

Been working this week on the first rewrite of STORM MOUNTAIN. Have made my way to chapter 6 and so far all is going well. I’d like to think this is because of the approach I use when rewriting. I used to try to fix everything in one grand swoop, but have found over time that it works much better for me if I narrow my focus. Really narrow it, as in on one aspect at a time, starting at the top of the list in terms of importance: not the setting, or dialogue, or sensory detail, or spelling, or punctuation. The most important aspect, in my opinion, is the plot and how the characters drive it forward.

Not to say that all of that other stuff is not important. But let’s face it, we don’t go to the library or bookstore seeking a novel full of really good spelling, or outstanding punctuation, or even amazing detail; it’s the story and characters that draw us. We are, after all, first and foremost, story tellers.

So that’s what I’m up to, and will continue to be up to next week, even though it’s Spring Break here in Oregon and my family and I are going over to Bend for five days of skiing, and hiking in the desert, and rock climbing. I’ll get up early, put in a couple of hours at the laptop, THEN go have fun!

Try it. Do the challenging thing first. (And let’s face it, writing definitely IS challenging.) Then reward yourself!