Revising Leah

June 2, 2008

Reflections

Filed under: Uncategorized — J.M. Reep @ 11:49 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

On Saturday, another obligation kept me away from my computer all day, so I wasn’t able to work on the novel. I kind of enjoyed the break, but I was also reminded of how dangerous interruptions to my writing routine can be. The urge to procrastinate is always lurking beneath the surface. Taking just one day off is enough to bring it to the fore and I really struggled on Sunday to make the time to sit down and work.

But sit down and work I did, and I’m glad I did. I finished revising some passages from chapter nine. In particular, I worked on a very important scene from the novel. Leah, sitting at home after her first encounter with David Parks, is distracted by her memory of him, and she realizes that she is developing a crush for him. She starts to imagine what might happen if they started spending time together, but she also wonders whether that would even be possible. She takes a look at herself in the mirror — an opportunity for self-evaluation and reflection — and she doesn’t like what she sees. Realistically, she knows that any kind of relationship with David is unlikely, if only because her shyness would be an obstacle too great to overcome.

Admittedly, the whole scene is a bit of a cliche. I’ve seen similar scenes in film and television where a character faces herself in the mirror and discovers some kind of truth about herself. It’s been done before, but I’m going to keep the scene, because, despite the cliche, I like the moment of self-discovery that Leah experiences here. I did have to do quite a bit of revising, though. A number of passages needed to be rewritten and I even deleted a paragraph or two (the current page count, by the way, is down to 256 pages), but the revisions helped and the chapter is stronger now than it was. That’s what is so satisfying about this project: I read a chapter or a passage that I don’t like, that needs work, and so I sit down, spend some time on it, and make it better — make it something that I feel like I can be proud of.

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