Saturday, January 10, 2015

Wink of an Eye and Thoughts on revising

I just reviewed Wink of an Eye by Lynn Chandler-Willis and was taken by how careful her writing is. (Click here to see my review.)

I took a workshop with J.A. Jance, another mystery author, about a half a year ago. Jance is very prolific, but I was struck by her response to a question I raised about rewriting. She writes a chapter then will revise it while working on the next chapter. Once she finishes that second chapter, she will never go back to the first. She keeps to that pattern as she writes and said she'd never finish her books if she kept going back. I like Jance's books. They are exciting and kept my attention, but Wink of an Eye includes more foreshadowing and never seems to leave questions unanswered.

Although my gut reaction to the issue of rewriting is that authors should do it until the work is perfect, that response is simplistic. The body of work produced by a writer is important and, given that assumption, how many books a writer produces is a factor. Comparing a prolific writer with a careful, exact writer is a bit like comparing a film with a TV series. There are qualities they share, but differences as well.

1 comment:

  1. Steve, thanks for the shout out! I'm a firm believer in making every word count and making every word move the story forward. I also tend to be a little OCD ;)