Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Dangers of Excessive Wordsmithing

When is a polished novel really polished? When you reach the point where you are wordsmithing your wordsmiths. Stuff you know you keep tweaking this way and then back to that way. I just got done doing this.

I was guilty of excessive wordsmithing.

This is a crime in so many ways. One, I have wasted valuable time. I could have been working on one of my other novels! Two, I run the risk of ruining some perfectly good sentences. Mark Twain once said, "Choose the right word, not it's second cousin" (paraphrasing here), but sometimes you argue with your muse as to what that right word is. And three, I could have gotten so much else done! Which brings us back to number one. But this was probably a lesson I had to learn.

I also realized that STARCASTER/A SPY AND A LADY was in much better shape than FORGING A LEGEND was during that recent rewrite. I guess that is the difference between novel number 2 (Forging) and novel number 3 (Spy).

Oh, and I DID send "Under Observation" to another market -- a pro magazine. Yay me!


  1. I'm glad you're keeping at submitting your shorter stories. From what I've heard, they're good in "a foot in the door" way, even if they don't bring as much money. {Smile}

    Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

  2. do whatever keeps you positive and plunging ahead.
    It is difficult to decide when polish is done - feedback can be so varied and whatever frame of mind you are in at the time comes into play.
    I believe in you -keep going. keep submitting, I think sometimes it's just a matter of timing and a bit of luck.

  3. Thank you for your continued confidence, Lisa. It means a lot to me to have someone read my work and get so enthusiastic about it.


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