Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Big Re-Write

So remember when I lost all those books during the great Flash Drive Mishap earlier this month? I still haven't recovered them, but as I mentioned Tuesday I did find those first few pages which helped me push through some energy to consider trying to recreate that book. It's going pretty well, but it just doesn't seem the same. It's going to take months of edits and revisions before it looks anything like what I remember. The saddest part of having to rewrite something lost is that you never seem to be able to get it exactly as you had before. You try and try, but still it seems but a shadow of its former glory. I tweeted earlier today that rewriting a lost book is like trying to rewrite a classic. It just never is as good as the original author wrote it. Even a favorite book will never sound as good rewritten by someone else.

Consider, if you will, that suddenly all the Harry Potter books are mysteriously sucked up into a black hole (along with J. K. Rowling) and Scholastic Books comes to you and says, "Help! You are our last hope. You are the world's biggest Harry Potter fan and we want you to rewrite these books so that these stories won't be lost!" Unless you have a photographic memory (and have memorized all 4,175 pages) there is just no way to recreate that work. Rowling was a wordsmith and it was her world and she would probably be at a loss herself to recreate what she had worked so eloquently before. Can you remember the exact order of everything that happened in every book? Can you remember all the wonderful witty things that Professor McGonagall said? Do you remember who all were knitters in the books and what they each knitted? (BTW, bonus points to anyone who can list all the knitters and what they were referenced to having knitted) See? It's the little things.

Today I was writing away, and feeling good about the groove I was in when suddenly I remembered a scene. But where does it go? When did it happen? It had importance, but when did I reveal it? Was it before or after Merry was injured? Was the story spoken or thought? If spoken to whom? And what exactly was that wonderful line that Lexie delivered at lunch? But I persevere. I will prevail even. Can someone pass me the pitcher of Margaritas now?

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