That One Perfect Sentence

So today I went for a 45-minute run on this unseasonably warm Colorado day. And about half way through, I composed a line for the final scene in my current MG WIP. I loved that line. I adored that line. I mentally kissed myself for authoring such a vastly poetic, thematically targeted, perfectly voiced sentence. One sentence. That’s all.

Then fearing I’d lose it, as so often happens in my compressed and fragmented brain, I repeated the line over and over in my head for a full twenty minutes until I just now sat down again at my computer and plugged that puppy into it’s proper place in my manuscript. Phew!

Such is my typical “writing” workout. Where another runner might rush to the bathroom after 5 miles. I rush to my computer (and sometimes the bathroom after that). And to think, all that energy, angst and urgency was tied to one sentence.

Funny thing — that one sentence might likely be the first one cut in my critique group’s “scissor” reads. Or it might make it to my agent and I’ll be lucky if it only suffers a word change or two. But if an editor ultimately sees it, well then, I’ll have carried that baby a long, long way. And you can’t blame me, if I’m a little resistant to abandoning it. The parting would be painful.

Because I’ll remember the day I recited that glorious line over and over again until it was as rote as the Pledge of Allegiance.

But before then, I’ll just have to see if I still love it — or even like it — tomorrow.

2 Responses to “That One Perfect Sentence”

  1. Paul Michael Murphy

    Love your last line. I’ve read my manuscripts so many times now I dislike most of my sentences. I just try to remember that once upon a time, it sounded good and it still might to someone else.<BR/><BR/>And then there’s always that piece of advice I read somewhere that says you should cut those parts of your novel that you’re in love with.<BR/><BR/>I hate that advice.