it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

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Revising is more important than devising.

For those of you not up on early '80's cult television shows in America, The Greatest American Hero was program revolving around the adventures of Ralph Hinckley, a high school special ed teacher who was granted superpowers by benevolent aliens... and then promptly lost the instruction book. It starred William Katt, Robert Culp, and Connie Sellecca, and it was considerably better than it sounds from that description, mostly due to a steadfast refusal to take any of it particularly seriously.

In one particularly infamous episode, the aliens, serving in their time honored role of Deus Ex Machina, alert Ralph to the incipient End of the World by taking control of his car radio and dedicating the Barry McGuire tune "Eve of Destruction" to him. Repeatedly.

There's a high amusement value, as I watch these old shows on DVD, in noticing that apparently they couldn't get licensing for "Eve of Destruction," so they replaced it with another song. But in the dialogue, of course, Ralph is still talking about the radio playing the Barry McGuire tune at him.

That's pretty funny.

But not as funny as the eighties clothes.

I've gotten past 200 pages in the rewrite of By the Mountain Bound, and in the course of that it's shrunk from a little over 400 pages to (currently) 378, and I expect I'll get a bit more out of it in the process of going through that second half. It's kind of interesting, going back over this from a distance of five years. Because it's reminding me of how much I've learned in those years, specifically about the fine art of revising, which includes seeing what's on the page rather than what's in my head.

That's not an easy trick, by the way. But it is proving to me the truth of the old adage, that the rewriting is more important that the writing.

It's also reminding me that I learned how to handle plot and character long before I learned to write passable prose.


more review roundup:
Tags: media, ralph the suit is talking to you

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