clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Ar left, an orchid from a photograph of Roberto Takase.

Orchids are hybridized through the exposure to powerful mutagens. Some of these are herbicides. 2,4-D is useful.

Others are produced by cross-breeding using methods Mendel would understand.

The mutations of interest tonight are those drafts of stories we produce. Sometimes, a draft contains almost all of the original story. Sometimes it contains so much that it can hardly be called a "re-write" but is an edit.

Then, we have those vastly different stories: those that started at A and ended up at Z. For my own part, I'm facing one of these now. Characters will remain. Almost everything else will change.

I really don't know why the impulse comes along to so drastically alter a work I might have slaved over for two or three weeks. I read it again and know that there are so many less-optimal choice that's I'd rather recast the story than try to fiddle with the bits.

I have one of those in my hands that makes a better novel than short story. I'd rather change the conflict and primary arc to solve some structural problems than try desperately to reshape what is a premise for a much longer work.

So, it's still coaching a bloom. Sometime, we need the heavy stuff. Sometimes we need story 2,4-D.

Better to take the set-back of a re-cast than try to live with ill-fitting decisions. If it takes more than three pages to fix one part of the the story, maybe it isn't due for a "rephrasing" but a recast.

So, drop you petal and get ready for the bath. Mutations aren't all bad. Thumbs worked out pretty good after all. My foxhound would  trade for them even up.

I hope you're writing. No way to bloom without a healthy dose of fertilizer and man, we can write fertilizer like it's going out of style.

I'm off to write - and scheme - some more. I hope you do the same.

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