The narrative boat
There’e2’80’99s an articulate essay on the art of editing over on M. J. Rose’e2’80’99s page, do take a look.
At the moment, however, I’e2’80’99m more concerned with the raw material that will eventually go under the editorial pencils. Yesterday I was working along as usual, paddling my little boat of narrative laboriously through the shallows where all the snags and sand bars lie, when without warning the stream took me and carried me smoothly down a couple thousand words, gently depositing me back at the edges at the end of the afternoon. A writer lives for those stretches of ease, where the most she has to do is dip her paddle in to keep the boat pointing in the right direction.
The entire trip can’e2’80’99t be made in the center of the stream, of course, and there’e2’80’99s plenty of hard slog ahead. But hey, it’e2’80’99s great for the upper body musculature, and it makes the easy bits all the sweeter.