I'll just go ahead and say it -- y'all were right. It was just a phase, and I'm all better now. A little better anyway. Since my crybaby tantrum last week, I've edited almost another 100 pages, including the long middle section that needed the most scrapping, rewriting, and scene-adding, and its all gone pretty smoothly. Most of you suggested taking some time off and putting some distance between myself and my manuscript, and believe me -- I would freaking love to do that right now. But I promised my agent a solid second draft by Thanksgiving, and I am a man of honor. And dignity. And fancy socks. And maturity.
All this revising has me thinking blasphemous thoughts, though. And disagree with me if you like, but sometimes, you has to writes bad to do goooder. I agonize over each and every instance of it, but sometimes, after restructuring a sentence thirteen different ways, I'm forced to compromise my ideals. Because sometimes, an adverb is just the thing to effectively modify that slippery verb.
And that's not the only rule I tend to break. Sometimes I break the rule about repeating certain words too many times on a single page because sometimes, repitition can be kind of 'catchy'. Don't belive me? Ask every chorus of every rock and roll song ever.
Sometimes, a sentence with a passive verb phrase just seems to flow better. Because subject verbs the object, subject verbs the object, and subject verbs the object. Wouldn't it be nice, for a change, to have that object be verbed by the subject?
Also, sometimes you just need to tell it. I understand the importance of showing it, but do I really need to write a three page scene where my character enters his kitchen and makes a tuna sandwich and says "Mmmmmmmmmmmmm....."? Or can I just once in a while say, 'Biff sure did love him some tuna'?
And what about a convenient little information dump once in a while? I'm building a pretty complex universe over here. If I promise to be subtle, and organic, and sneaky, might I please have permission for my narrator to just go ahead and describe the injection procedure for biometric nanotrons that fuse to my character's nervous systems in order to form their neuropathode networks? I promise I could get r' done in less than one page of narrative exposition. And I promise to ease in and out really carefully. Because come on -- it's way better than having Biff say, "As you know Buffy, I've undergone the injection procedure where biometric nanotrons were fused to my nervous system in order to form my neuropathode network..."
Help me out here, blog buddies -- what rules do you like to break and why?