Apr 292011

A first draft never tells the best story so I wonder why we’re not able to revise a day in reality. It doesn’t even have to be a day… maybe a first meet or a second date, a friendship or an invite. You know the kind – a situation which you always regret didn’t go a different way. Even while it’s happening you sometimes wonder why you didn’t say it with a different tone or body expression.

As a writer being able to make changes to settings, scenarios and characters, especially, is the art of perfecting the life of the fictitious events created. To strengthen the respect the reader will have of each pivotal moment or insight into the character requires work and yet in real life we quickly make decisions about people, friendships and relationships that cannot be undone or revised.

First impressions are important but so are lasting ones. Respect and follow-through are so vital to continuing a bond and yet in this world it seems our friends and enemies think they can simply make-up for time lost.

As the old saying goes “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” my improvisation for this, especially when it comes to writers, is to love your characters as they will always be less disappointing than living people. Even the cold-hearted killer who surprises you as much as your reader will never disappoint you. These characters are always with you, too. They can never run out to leave you empty-hearted and, although their excuses are paper thin, once printed they cannot be changed.

Days like one I had this week confirm why fiction is what I love as it never promises to tell the truth, offer respect and beg for forgiveness in return. Fiction is a lie that is obvious and forthcoming, not convoluted, unassuming and painful like non-fiction. The tales fiction writer’s weave can be painful but it’s a pain of the mind, not of the heart and soul.

If you could edit one moment of your life, revise it to perfect it or erase an entire situation – would you?

Thanks for reading,

Sarah Butland

  One Response to “Redo’s, Revisions, and Hindsight”

  1. Would I? You bett. Could I? No. So I make the best which what I have and learn from mistakes/missed opportunities/even unkindness shown to others. Life is – to me – all about learning. In our writings, a part of ourselves is revealed somewhere, somehow.

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