Saturday, April 02, 2005

The Same Old Broom

Remember Only Fools and Horses? The episode where Trigger talks about 'his father's broom'. "I've changed the head a couple of times, and the handle's been replaced, but it's still the same broom...." *

It's an old joke, but one we recognise. The thing that seems the same to us, even though every part of it is new.

Which is rather like the MS I'm polishing now. If I start telling you its history, I won't be able to stop and I'll probably start sounding desperate. There have been rejections in its past. And revisions. And requests. Lots of each of them.

More recently, I've rewritten large chunks of it, employing what I've learned since it's baby steps as a first draft.

Which brings us back to the broom. You see, in broom terms, I first replaced the bristles. Then I decided the head didn't support the bristles well enough, so I replaced that with something sleeker and more sturdy. Which is great. It sure sweeps a good floor now.

Only the handle keeps giving me splinters.

But, since a wise person recently told me, "you need to move on" and since I know this to be true, I'm going to hand that old broom onto someone else to look at. And suggest they wear gloves.

In any case, by the time I'd replaced the handle, the bristles would probably be worn out again....

But it's a good book - er, broom - despite its flaws. And someday, in the not too distant future, someone's going to want to buy it. I tell you now - that's going to feel extremely good.

*Probably I paraphrase. You get the gist.


At 1:49 pm, Blogger Kate Allan said...

Having rewritten stories so that they are completely unrecognisable from the first drafts I know what you say is true. Funny thing is that you change things, yet still underneath it's the same essential story.

At 6:25 pm, Blogger Jaye said...

I have one of those old brooms hanging around, too, Anna. :-) The good thing is, we now know how to construct a good broom, and our skill will only grow. So put that old broom away for now, and work on your next masterpiece. At some point it'll be fixed up just perfect.

At 8:44 pm, Anonymous Jill said...

Oh, how many old brooms I've gone through! Don't give up! Don't ever give up.

At 6:39 am, Blogger Michelle Styles said...

Yes, I understand as well, Anna. There comes a time when you have to choose a different broom. The old broom can be laid away (or even sent out into the world) but you start building a new one.
It is when you feel you have finally done justice to the story. It is when you know in your heart of hearts that you have done justice to the story then it can be hung up inthe broom closet.
Good luck


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