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John DeDakis

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Change is Good
By John DeDakis
Last edited: Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Posted: Tuesday, February 23, 2010

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Recent articles by
John DeDakis

• Healing from Grief
• A Son Remembers His WWII Dad
• Remembering Dad on Veterans Day
• I'm Afraid to Write!
• Wow
• Behind the Scenes in a Troubled Newsroom
• Who Should Direct the Movie of my Novel?
           >> View all 28
The act of writing is a lot like the act of living.

Not long ago, one of my writing students came to me, vexed because she was making so many changes to the story she was writing. Even though my response was tailored to writing, it applies to life, too.

Here's what I told her:

Change is a good thing. Get used to the idea of change because you will be making a LOT of changes throughout the novel-writing process.

Some changes will be huge and fundamental; others will be minor tweaks, but in almost every case, you will be changing your story and your manuscript for the better.


Because the act of writing puts your thinking down in an objectively observable form. Until you write it out, the ideas are merely elusive and ethereal images in your head. Often, it's only when you read what you've written that you can identify sloppy thinking, poor logic, or other problems.

Look at it this way: Writing is clearing your head; reading what you've written is the act of assessing if what was in your head was as good as you'd originally thought. More often than not, it isn't.

Look critically at what you write. By doing so, you'll often find ways to make it even better. DON'T FEEL AS IF IT HAS TO BE "RIGHT" THE FIRST TIME. FIRST DRAFTS SUCK. SO DO FIFTH DRAFTS.

So, take heart. You're a long way from having your manuscript [or your life] be what it should or will be. You're at the stage where you're putting a slab of unformed clay on the potter's wheel. The clay blob will only turn into a work-of-art as you form it and mold it as the wheel spins.

It's a process. You're at the very beginning. There's still a lot of creative fun ahead. Are you having fun yet??




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Reviewed by Jen Hall 2/23/2010
Thanks John, great information about developing my writing skills and also a great metaphor for life.
I write my first draft by hand and then type it our, Thats my first set of changes and then the real editing begins. It evolves and grows hopefully into a great manuscript.
Love and light
Jen hall
KISS Principle
Reviewed by Martha Cheves 2/23/2010
John, as you may remember, I write cookbooks so my manuscripts are fairly simple. So, as I read your article, I read it as my manuscript for life. With each line written I found a relation to some point in times in my life. The manuscript for my life was "written" through my ideas. Everything we do starts out as an idea. Some are good, some are bad and some are wonderful. That's what makes our manuscripts of life grow and what makes us worthwhile. This is what I received from your article. Thank you.
Reviewed by Susan Malone 2/23/2010
Great article, John. So often new writers want to put enough words on the page to fill up a book-length manuscript, and think they're done! Revision really is the name of this game. As I often say when I speak at writers' conferences: writing really IS rocket science. So much goes into great fiction. One of my blogs covers just one aspect, Viewpoint:
Keep spreading the Revision word!
Reviewed by Frances Seymour 2/23/2010
John, How true your message is and a good editor will help point out areas of needed improvement! I have thoroughly enjoyed the re-writing and re-thinking process that has gone into Mediocrity to Maturity along with the expertise and professionalism of Tate Publishing! Many Blessings...Frances
Reviewed by Janet Caldwell 2/23/2010
I am having a blast!!! I also have a manuscript that is 9 yrs old, unfinished. ;) No worries though. Great article John! x
Reviewed by Kimmy Van Kooten 2/23/2010
Really though, I'm having a blast!
Your point is very well taken, John...just what I wanted to hear writing my first novel! NOT! :) I can't seem to scribe what person I'm spoke to and stay there? ...I'ma trying! LOL!
And, while I'ma trying to write, "My Figure, His Parts", manifested, because the rules of King English frustrate me!
Have a great day, Mr. DeDakis...and thanks for the facebook rider-link over here!.............weeeeeeeeeeeee!
Love and Peace~
Reviewed by Jen Knox 2/23/2010
Very true. Great insight, John. Let's have fun!!!

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