Work in Progress #18: The Moving Light at the End of the Tunnel

emily postI am three quarters of the way through my Emily Post biography…maybe (dare I hope it???) even further.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Except for the fact that writing a longer piece always goes slower and slower the further I proceed because I realize with every sentence I write all the things I should have covered earlier: An incident I’m writing seems to drop too suddenly into the narrative (there should have been some foreshadowing!), a minor character with a key role has been absent for too long (where can I have him/her “peek” in a few times?), the groundwork for the theme has not been laid carefully enough, leaving me with too much summarizing and explaining to do. I suppose it’s not so much the light at the end of the tunnel that’s moving, as it is me moving away from the light.

I have found one compensation. Each time I leave the chapter I’m working on and fix something earlier in the text, I come back surer, more confident, clearer about the way forward. I know some writers advocate just plugging full speed ahead (Damn the torpedoes!) and doing the fixing later. To be honest, I sometimes use that very strategy.  There are definitely times, however, when going back and fixing is absolutely the surest way forward.

Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge, Author

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