That’s the joke, right? How to be a sculptor? Take a slab of marble and cut away everything that doesn’t look like David…
When I open up a book or story project after a pause of more than a couple hours, I usually reread what I did before, which means I rewrite as I go, which means that chapter one of any book I work on is the most heavily rewritten of any part of the book, ever. Even when I trash 500 pages and start over. And it’s the same kind of process: I’m cutting away and rearranging things that don’t give me the story and mood I’ve got in my head – if you’re really lucky, you might get 80% of what you were looking for when you started. That happened for me, once.
The rest of the time, I’m lucky if all the characters in the story end up with the same names they had in my original vision.
Cut it all out, tear it all down, build it up again, clearing up the image in your head as you go.
“It’s not that.”
“Definately not that.”
“Oh, that’s just shit.”
And you start over again.
I love what I do.
P.S. It’s so sweet being back from the break and hefting around my 30lb free weights again – my arms are once again looking Mighty… Oh, and I finished another Amber book. Almost done with The Origins of War. I’m way behind on my nonfiction (though I did recently finish, and recommend, War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning, which I’ll discuss later).