June 1st, 2004

A Pocket Full of Murder

I just never know when to quit, do I?

I've just rewritten my Snape essay for Convention Alley.

Er, you may well say, didn't you already finish that thing and turn it in? And the answer is, yeah, I did. It was due on May 15th, and I met the deadline. But that same week I got some really excellent and helpful criticisms from one of my brothers. And though I told myself I'd just work his ideas into the oral presentation and not worry about the essay part of things, I kept thinking about how much better the essay would have been if I'd had time to make the changes he suggested. Finally I realized that deadline or no deadline, I was just not going to be happy until I did a redraft.

Fearing the worst, I asked the convenors if there might still be a chance to submit a revision, if I didn't take too long about it. And to my relief, they said yes. So I spent the last three days tearing the essay to bits and remaking it. After about six hours of editing, I began to wonder if I'd have been better to just forget the first draft entirely and rewrite it from scratch -- but fortunately the last half didn't require as much work as the first.

I have murdered my darlings, and they bled most beautifully. It wasn't easy, but I feel much better about the essay now.*

Now I just have to work on the outline for the oral presentation, my entry for the Weiss ficathon, and the sequel to "Endings and Beginnings"... all of which should keep me busy for the next month at least.

*Except for one subheading I wrote that makes no sense whatsoever, not only because the allusion was obscure to begin with but because I accidentally misquoted the book of Proverbs. Gah. Why do I do these things?