The road ends, but the journey continues...

On Doing Final Drafts

Silly me.

I thought the final drafts and final rewrites of pieces critiqued by two different writers groups in two different states, edited, reworked and rewritten over a time span of close to four years would be the easy part of finishing my Goat Suite Saga set of 7 vignettes. Never mind the larger project of Swimming with Swans: vignettes of our three year journey between homes set of at least 2xs that amount.

Silly me.

While I’ve stamped four of the seven vignettes as final, it’s this fifth one that’s got me up against the wall as mentioned in a previous post. It’s a good thing I took that quilt break as it helped refresh my writerly juices to get back in the game.

However, it seemed like I just wasn’t making any progress. So, the other day I decided to passively gather data on how long it’s taking to actually do specific rewrites.  The numbers were kind of scary.

Let me explain.

There’s this one musically technical paragraph that I was told was confusing to non-musicians. However, I insist upon it staying as it’s important to the totality of that particular vignette. One paragraph, out of one vignette with an approximate word count of 2000 words took me over 12 hours to rework, reword, rewrite and stamp as final.

One paragraph.

Waiting on the final studio mix of my lone recorded piece (out of four total) left to be mixed before sending all to the mastering lab has been frustrating. Yet, it gives me an excuse to focus on the written part of the GSS of which an abbreviated form will be featured in the cd insert booklet.

Never did I ever figure on spending so much time on one paragraph.

Silly me.


  1. Andy

    Often, everything hinges on a paragraph 🙂

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yes, and in this case it even opened up greater organization of other previous content within the same vignette…interesting phenom, even if it meant tearing down to rebuild. I’m especially pleased because it is really becoming a more polished piece, tho not done! HA!

  2. Andrea Stephenson

    That paragraph was obviously very important, and the time you took on it will give you great satisfaction in the long term.

    • laura bruno lilly

      You are so right, Andrea.
      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  3. Janis

    Sometimes it flows, sometimes it’s tortured. Who knows why, but I’m glad you kept at it.

    • laura bruno lilly

      What a descriptor: tortured – oh, yeah!

  4. Deborah

    I hear you, Laura! Sometimes I love the rewrites, the challenge of making the writing tighter, cleaner, more powerful. But sometimes I worry I’ve lost something doing so. It’s always a struggle to know when and where and how to revise your work. And is it ever done? Is there ever a “final” draft?

    • laura bruno lilly

      And is it ever done?…the ultimate rabbit hole for us (he)artists, no matter the medium. Yikes.

  5. Sue

    The right words and the most effective syntax can be elusive even to communicate ideas or emotions that are shared by the vast majority of humanity. How much trickier a task to communicate specialized knowledge to the generally knowledgeable populace. I feel your pain.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Well said, Sue.

  6. L. Marie

    Oh Laura. I hear you on the frustration of rewrites. I’m glad you got that done by the way. When I think of how wonderful the finished work will be, I’ll bet those 12 hours will soon become one of the cherish milestones in your memory. We’ll all appreciate how much effort it took to bring this whole project to fruition.
    Writing just four pages of a story has taken days sometimes. I’ve certainly taken days to write a 250-word article, knowing that several editors might demand that I rework it even more. And I’m facing another revision of my middle grade novel. So yeah, I get it.

    • laura bruno lilly

      I kinda thought you’d get it Linda! Writing is your primary (he)art and passion and I admire you in all the time & dedication it takes to craft your masterpieces.
      Will you post your latest release on your blog?
      And, thanks for your continued support, positive vibes and encouragement during my journey to complete this project!

      • L. Marie

        You’re welcome! I can be found on Our Daily Bread’s website some months, though I’m never sure when my devotionals go up. Still in the querying stage on my MG book.

        • laura bruno lilly

          Cool. I’ll have to pop over there sometime.
          Let me(us) know about MG progress, okay?

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