Saturday, April 14, 2012

The angel in the marble

I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.
- Michelangelo

What an amazing gift Michelangelo had (the sculptor, not the Ninja Turtle), that ability to see the potential beauty in a hunk of stone. Those of us mortal types, more human and less divinely inspired, plod and struggle in our efforts to create beauty. I need help to see the potential of my work and I certainly need help to carve it away from its stone base.

To the rescue - the Writers' Group at the Dietrich Theater in Tunkhannock. Our weekly critique sessions center around our collective need for input regarding our latest writing efforts. In 10-page segments over many months, I presented my novel to the group and got their feedback on everything from voice to punctuation, from characterization to dialogue. Many segments were handed back to me with a 'nice try, but fix this and bring it back again' approach. The opening chapter alone was rewritten a dozen times, maybe more. But with each rewrite, with each round of revisions large or small, the angel in the marble began to take shape.

Yesterday, a potential agent suggested changes I hadn't thought of, ones that would increase the uniqueness of the piece and its saleability within a tight publishing market. How wonderful that all along this journey, I've had people around me who see a way through to find the angel when all I see is stone.

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