Editing, Novel, Words, Writing

A portrait in words

wordportraitAs I mentioned yesterday, while I let my manuscript rest from my rounds of cutting and stitching and appending, I’ll be working on a portrait. Many times my artistic talent became my savior in school. Standing in front of my classmates to give an oral report was a guarantee that I would end up pale and sweating, with my heart beating so hard my barely audible voice sounded as choppy as the worst of cell phone connections. So, whenever possible, I opted to fulfill my “report” obligations by using paint, paper, clay, or fabric.

So, you say, thanks for the colorful childhood memory, but how does that relate to writing? Simple: I have more confidence in my editing skills than my draft writing skills.

Faces or figures have always been my favorite subjects. As children do, I began as an impressionist, but being the perfectionist that I am, I developed my talent toward photo-realism. But the hard part is already done in portraiture. I don’t have to create the faces, you see, I just interpret them.

So I sweat and shake, whimper and rant, push and pull to get that draft down, but then when I have the complete story—the face, so to speak—I can rub my hands together in joyful anticipation and start editing. I can sketch and delineate, shade and lift, I can take my Berol Turquoise 9H and polish that skin until it gleams. That’s the easy part.

That’s the fun of editing.

9 thoughts on “A portrait in words”

  1. You’ve become such a prolific blogger! I need to catch up on all your posts here and keep up in the future. 🙂 I think that editing and painting realistically are two talents that many would envy. I think there are a lot of people with interesting stories in their heads, but very few with the patience and skill to turn them into a polished masterpiece.


  2. I really relate to this. When I was writing fiction, I loved the editing part and had to stop myself so I could get to the end of the story. And many pieces are unfinished because I never got there.

    Hey, need a volunteer?


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