Why Jack Nicholson's Wrong About Me

Personal Note: I have a Tsunami of a headache, and we've completely run out of any sort of Tylenol/Advil/Excedrin/Aspirin for adults. You don't want to know what I ingested to make it go away, but suffice to say the words 'grape flavor' were involved and there was some chewing required.

I took a little blogging break after NaBloPoMo because first, I'm lazy like that, and secondly, it's the holidays; things are all over the place, including my abilities to create a post-worthy, informative blog concept.

Jack, however, is all over this like white on rice.

As you may have guessed, today I'll be writing about truth, and again, on the heels of a fellowess writer also writing on the same subject (maybe there's like a spore in the air and all the blogging writers breathe it in at the same time? I dunno, but if so, I hope they're the cute little fuzzy ones like that thing with the bow on its head in Horton Hears a Who).

Anyway, TEH TROOTH! Ize handelz it!

When you've got your hands deep into gut-rearranging revisions you have a lot of little epiphanies (or at least I hope you do, because otherwise you're basically just rearranging crap . . . pun and disgusting feces reference intended), and sometimes these epiphanies will take a toll on your ego. I don't know if you've noticed, but a writer's ego is a sort of an oxymoron incarnate. On one hand, it is the most delicate, fragile thing, so killing it off should be pretty easy, but on the other it's so vast and enormous you can't ever take it out entirely. It makes me think of those under-ground forests that only look like separate and individual trees, but really is one great big boss fight of a plant. That, my sweet little readers, is a writer's ego.

And that's part of what's on the line when you revise, because sometimes you have to suck it up and admit to yourself a reaction here or a scene there was--le gasp!--wrong. Because admitting you have a problem is the first step in recovery (unless your problem is loss of electronic documents into the ether of extensional limbo, in which case you're just out of luck, because I don't care what Microsoft Word tells you, you're not recovering anything).

The truth I'm handling is that I am sometimes wrong. I sometimes make someone fictional do something, be something, say something they never would in, uh, "real" life. More often than not the imaginary friend manages to get my attention and correct my misconceptions, but sometimes it take a meat-grinder and some scary music to make me see reason. I'm actually having a lot of fun with the mistakes I'm finding this go around, because not only is correcting them making the story ring truer, but it's clarifying some things in later books I was really fuzzy on, because I couldn't make out how to get from Point B to Point C with the path between Points A and B so fuzzy and sort of Plot-blocking me.

So, short moral: Be okay with being wrong. Accept it's going to happen, it isn't as personal as you think, and it means you have the chance to be RIGHT in the future. And seriously, who doesn't absolutely LOVE being right? I mean, dude, come on.


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