Friday, April 16, 2010
Rearranging Trees in the Forest
There's an old Tanya Tucker song called 'Down to My Last Teardrop' in which she's bemoaning a relationship that she knows is about to fall apart. She sings "I'm rearranging chairs on a ship that's going down."
That lyric has always stuck with me for some reason. Lately, in my writing, I feel like I can't see the trees for the forest, and I know the thing is just hopelessly tangled, but I'm rearranging them over and over anyway, hoping the view will improve.
That is to say (ditching the metaphors) I'm rearranging whole scenes, and words within those scenes, hoping it will make the book better. But so far I don't notice any improvement. If anything, I think it's getting worse!
Do you ever feel that way? What do you do about it?
P.S. How can you tell when you really need to change things, or if you're just compulsively editing? Sometimes I wonder if I'm thinking too hard?