Susan Gibb at her weblog creative writing journal asks a good question
I don’t know that I have ever gone back and added in so much, a good forty percent increase–and no doubt some will be cut out–and I wonder why the images don’t come with the first writing, why the story wasn’t clear as it unfolded.
I don’t know if I have a good answer for this, but I know what she’s talking about. She also writes
Much of the simple description, the simile and metaphor, a single added movement of the protagonist, reveals so much more about her.
Many writers on writing comment on how a character in the writing process develops upon reflection, revision, and rewriting. Character in the building of the story is an element of knowledge. A character may be something that we come to know, something that we discover after lots of thinking (writing). It begins as something we don’t know and is slowly uncovered (discovered).
I call our world Flatland, not because we call it so, but to make its nature clearer to you, my happy readers, who are privileged to live in Space.
Abbot knows the process. The finished work reveals the results.
Amazing how that one sentence tells you,gives you the picture, explains without being overdone: “I call our world Flatland…”
You’ve made your point with me on the last story, pushing me to describe how “only Marilyn’s hair could look.” I sought the right words for over a week. I’ve taken this lesson to heart; it’s one of the most valuable in writing.
Believe me, we all struggle with it. James Joyce is famous for his searches for just the right thing.