Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Time is a writer's best friend. The passing of a few weeks or months provides a clearer perspective of our work and the courage to proceed where we may not have been able to tread before.

A year ago one of my friends suggested that I cut a couple of early scenes from my novel. "I'm afraid you're going to confuse the reader on what this story is about."

In my gut, I knew Jeanette was probably right, but I had a humorous line later in the chapter that depended on one of those scenes. I wasn't ready to do the necessary surgery.

Because I've been concentrating on the second part of the book the last six months, the first part had been hibernating since spring. Today I took it out and read. Jeanette's comment came back to me. Now there was no doubt. Those scenes had to go, and it didn't even hurt when I drew a long line from one corner of the page to the other. The decision felt good.

Tonight I was invited to speak to a creative writing class at Amarillo College. I told them about how I had to find a new second half of my first novel after it sold.

"It was difficult," I said, "but eventually I was able to do it." The gift of time made it possible.

The answers to the problems in the novel I'm working on now have not come to me quickly, but they eventually arrived. They arrived in their own time. I'm glad I waited.

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