Writing Notes by Today, I Wrote…

Passionate prose is my PARAMOUR.

December 4

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Word Carving

by Ann-Kat

I’m about 90% finished my first actual novel. (I say actual because I’ve written books in the past, but none were quite a full-length novel.) As I printed a hard copy of what I’d done so far and began reading it with a red pen, I remember an old man I once saw wood carving.

He took a block of wood and then lopped out big chunks until it was roughly the shape he needed it to be. (He was making a horse I believe.)

On his second pass, he carved out the necessary holes, slots, and that’s when the idea began to emerge. (He made a space between the four legs, rounded out the head, and shaped the tail.)

On the next pass, he began to add the details. That’s when there was no mistaking that it would be a horse. It had hooves, nostrils, a flowing main and flicking tail.

And when he was done with the details, he sanded, sealed, and polished it. It was quite beautiful how he transformed a rectangular block of wood into a stunning brown horse.

That’s what writing is. To me, anyway. Except, instead of carving wood, we’re carving words.

We start with a vague idea (the rectangular block of wood), then we carve the general shape (write the first draft), whittle it down (editing the first draft), etch the details (editing the second draft), and then polish it (create the final draft).

It truly is wondrous how art is created.

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