Here’s the Catch Kids, Nothing’s New

I had a social studies/history teacher in tenth grade who used to say “Here’s the catch, kids; nothing’s new,” all the time. And twenty-mumble years later, I still say that to myself. It’s true for history, and it is true for writing.

It’s radical rewrite, day 10. Yesterday, instead of writing bits of my plot treatment, I said fuck it. I went ahead. I wrote the question/main point of each chapter. And then I printed the plot treatment out. I know I deviated from the plan, which was to write a certain number of words every day to understand where I was going with the book. But I’m impatient.

What’s new? I’m always impatient. I used to think I was too impatient to write a book, but it turns out that is not so (thank you, psychotropic medication). But even if I’m impatient, I am moving forward. I’ve stared at the 18 pages a bit, one blurb per chapter. I have a few notes. I have a list of questions that I think I’m trying to figure out.

The structure is not very different than it was before. The major difference is the beginning, which has gone back to draft 6 form, and the end, which has gone back to draft 9 form. I’m on draft 11, I think, just to give you perspective. But this time I’m going to go deeper. I’m going to feel it more. I’m going to cut out the extraneous detail. (See that, extraneous detail? Your time is limited.)

And I’m pretty sure in the next few days, I’m going to dive back into writing with the plot treatment by my side. How boring is the tale of the radical rewrite? Ask me your grammar/writing/usage questions. Ask me about poems. Give me something to write about.


Indy Clause


5 responses to “Here’s the Catch Kids, Nothing’s New

  1. Stipulating a time machine and unlimited amounts of soap, hot water, Laytex/Teflon prophylactics, modern antibiotics, and persuasive powers:

    Which dead poet(s) (limit 3) would you totally tap?

  2. I think my approach is more intuitive (or organic? or spontaneous?). I don’t outline. I don’t consciously think about the point of each story (which seems to evolve/refine over time). I certainly could write a synopsis of each story in my Fathers and Sons cycle, but I just seem to keep that kind of thing in my head and go with whatever urges are bothering me at the moment. (Trying to keep the tone high.)

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