Underworld Shipyard

03.Pomegranate.SW.WDC.3nov05 Into the dark underbelly of revisions we go. Buckle your belts and loosen your blades in your scabbards, you never know when a passive construction will leap out at you, when a that will show up, where a plot hole will suddenly open at your feet, yawning wide. Quick reflexes and endurance are necessary, as well as ruthlessness.

You must know when to kill a darling and when to let it live, when the rules are served and when it’s best to break them. Tightening, smoothing, weaving stray strands back in, making sure it all hangs correctly, twitching the underlying structure so it all jolts properly into place. Burnishing the hidden hinges, stepping back as far as you can to see how the light plays on the surface, if a pebble upstream will change the course of the riptide.

And, finally, we’ll reach the point where we don’t look back, because you’ll spend forever tinkering if you’re allowed to. The point where you’ve made it as good and tight and seaworthy a Lookfar as you can, and you have to let it go. It will sail to the editor, copyeditor, proofer for the final caulkings, maybe taking on water and maybe not, and you can turn your attention back to the thirsty shipyard where the others lay under construction, ready to sail out from the dark harbour inside you. A writer is where the sea touches the dry country of the dead, forgotten, voiceless.

No wonder we drink.

Once more into the labyrinth, following the string of a story; once more we sing of the wine-dark sea, the harp, and the rocks. Revision. A beautiful, dangerous word.

A beautiful, dangerous, necessary work.