The Manuscript Drips Red

Fry from Futurama

Returning to the words
That have gestated and grown
Will they work
Or reveal my first draft stumbles?
Music turned on
To break the itching silence
As I sit down to peruse
And carve out broken bits
Fix a sentence here
Delete a word there
Bursts of progress
That feel draining to the mind
Not as much to change
As you dreamed and feared
The story is solid
Which chills you to the bone
The rule emerges
To scrap most of what you did
You see others swear
That this is how it goes
Anxiety takes hold
And you let the red ink fly
Unsure if your editing is true
Or misguided by doubt

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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16 Responses to The Manuscript Drips Red

  1. I always cry a little when I have to delete paragraphs I just finished sweating to write. But, it generally makes the story stronger and that’s what counts in the end. 🙂


  2. Sounds all too familiar. Nice job, Charles.


  3. Small-scale tweaking (deleting or changing a word, fixing punctuation, moving a sentence, etc.) can be fun. It’s like a final polish to something that’s pretty much perfect. But re-imagining a whole scene, ripping out and replacing whole paragraphs — that is hard. I think it’s because you have to switch from using one side of your brain to the other, analytical to creative.


  4. L. Marie says:

    It’s great that you can articulate your process in such a creative way, Charles.
    Do you print your manuscripts by hand or edit on screen?


    • I used to print my manuscripts out, but then my printer died. The one I use now is for everyone in the house, so I can’t crank out my 200+ manuscripts without running through an entire ink cartridge.


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