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July 12, 2016 / Angela Sylvia

Moments in Editing: Move Your Body, Find Your Words

I’m sitting at my desk, staring at my screen. Specifically, staring at one paragraph in my novel. A paragraph that sort of gets at what I want to say…except, not really, no. The idea is firm in my head, but the words that will make it clear, understood, those are out of reach.

Or maybe, I’m beginning to suspect, they don’t exist at all.

I delete. I type. I write in my notebook. I write again. I stare out the window, flip through Twitter, pet my dog. Nothing helps. I don’t know what I want to say.

sweet pea outside writingMy water cup has run dry, so I get up. Go downstairs. The rain has stopped, so I open the door and stand on the porch. The dog runs past my legs, and I breathe deep the smell of warm wet grass and dirt.

And I know what I want to say.

Just like that the words are in my head, perfect — or at least, perfect for now. I write them out, plug them in, and with a little bit of jamming they fit into the story. Not a one hundred percent fit, but I can sand them out later, when they’ve settled more, and I’m not quite so proud.

Right now it’s a relief to have found something workable. I sigh, and take a satisfied sip of water.

And I look at the next paragraph.

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