Rumor has it that Mozart wrote down his work only once; it sprung from his head complete and perfect. Well, that isn't me. I read, re-read, and read again everything I write, and each time come closer to what I want to say. It takes a lot of time and a lot of paper, because I have to have a hard copy for most edits. I suppose it's trial and error, and we all know that's inefficient, but it's how I like to work.

I enjoy watching characters slowly become themselves. At first mention they may be one thing; by the time I've finished they may be quite another. I enjoy adding detail so that a scene that once was just things happening has depth that reveals motives or sensory images or historical eccentricities. And I even enjoy cutting out all the excess I put in at first, stuff I like but later realize that the reader won't.

Maybe someday I'll grow into a writer who doesn't make those first wrong turns. It's possible I'll learn to put everything in the first time through, or even the second. I may even learn to avoid the cutesy things I tend to include in the first draft. Then the title for this piece would be "Mozart I'm Not."

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