Wednesday, June 30, 2004

the joy of cutting

amazing! all my life, i've been laden with verbiage. my love for lavish language had led to more than one mediocre morass masquerading as a short story. oh, those callow days when every word i wrote seemed golden. precious. untouchable. somehow, this summer, i've fallen in love with the process of revision. before, cutting caused me unspeakable pain. oh my art! oh my golden words! but now i've discovered the joy of deleting words, sentences--whole paragraphs even. i've been weighing my work on a new scale, and behold!, i have found fat. i feel like a flinser, slicing the blubber from the whale of my words. what pleasure to discover that a story is better at 7000 words than it was at 14000, not anorexic like i'd fear, but svelte, proportionate.

not that i'm going to start worshipping at the altar of the great fart monster of pamplona. sorry, hemingway will never be among the writers whose work i enjoy. give me rushdie, give me roy, give me lorrie moore and tc boyle. i want to declare a moratorium on minimalism. give me words, unabashed and cheeky, but let me learn to make every one count.