Friday, March 4, 2011

On Revision


"Revision is where fine art begins. It’s thrilling to take an ending and pull it backward like a shiny thread through the whole fabric of a manuscript, letting little glints shine through here and there. To plant resolution, like a seed, into chapter one. To create new scenes, investing a character with the necessary damage, the right kind of longing. To pitch out boldly and try again. To work every metaphor across the whole, back and forth, like weaving. I love that word “fabrication,” because making an elaborate fiction feels so much like making cloth.

Perfectionism is my disease. Revision is my milk and honey."

Barbara Kingsolver

This quote is taken, with thanks, from a link to a Kingsolver interview over at WomenRuleWriter. I 'll be holding fast to the metaphor of fabrication as I revise this weekend, I don't know if it's because of time spent at the loom, but this is the only quote I've read recently that has given me a real sense of how to progress.

Have a great weekend.


7 comments:

120 Socks said...

Good luck on the weaving and great quote.

brigid said...

Good for you Niamh, you have far more patience than me.
It will all be worth it in the end, also looking forward to seeing your poem in the Moth next week!

Words A Day said...

Socks
Thanks, its a great site, v interesting on writing.

brigid
i dont know about the patience!:) ...about Moth, I'm really looking forward to it too,and thanks for the support!

Old Kitty said...

It takes great skill and patience to weave and create a decent piece of long lasting fabric!! I love this analogy, thank you. When I was younger and ambitious I'd rush my stories and never understood why no-one wanted them. These days, no-one still wants them but I no longer rush and my ambitions are on a very slow burner! Age is a wonderful thing too for me! Have a great weekend weaving your beautiful words together! LOL! take care
x

Faith Pray said...

What a perfect quote. It makes slogging away at the work sound rich and beautiful.

Chris David Richards said...

Interesting quote. Reminds me of the times I think 'just make it look like you knew where it was going all along. Nobody will know'.

Theresa Milstein said...

This is one of the best analogies on revision I've ever read. We're weaving an intricate tapestry. Thanks for sharing the quote, Niamh.