by N. Bright
375 words of an assigned article for a children’s magazine about a cowboy’s life. I pitched the idea back in May, got the assignment mid August, and had over one month to write the article.
Short assignments make me crazy. I’ve reread the words over and over every day, out loud numerous times. I’ve marked up those two pages with red, moving paragraphs and sentences around, and back again. Retyped the entire thing three times.
I had at least ten different opening paragraphs before I finally settled. And you know how difficult opening paragraphs can be. They set the tone for your entire piece. Plus when a target age is involved I rethink every single word as to the age appropriateness and consult the grade level thesaurus.
And it’s done, three weeks ahead of the deadline. Thursday night it went to the five people you’ve come to know through this blog. They were kind, but they left no stone unturned. They questioned every word, every phrase. We had an in-depth discussion on the tone and the historical facts.
And ya know what? NOT done. Yet.
If you haven’t read Friday August 30th blog by Nandy Ekle right here on WordsmithSix, please do. Three cheers for critique partners who care, and I’ll leave you with her words: Find yourself a critique partner. It really will change your writing life.