The final forming

Then, when you have a text that you almost like, it needs the final forming – shaving, cutting, sharpening, bringing down to the size that fits. The bringing together of the total form into a whole single body. Designing it for the reader. And in doing this you may find more meaning and understanding. You may need to go back again before you can go forward.

So many images and memories continue to come into this process. The last time other readers saw and judged your text. What they seemed to miss and what you found you had not said. The times you spoke to audiences and joined discussions, and what they took and what they didn’t. Even small comments in coffee queues. The turns of phrase that worked, the odd scribblings. Even the advice of long since teachers and elders – telling you where to leave in and take out commas, where you said too much and left too little. Philosophers talking about scripts. Ancient texts with notes in margins. Exercise books with lines and and squares. Inkwells and blots. And, today, screens, fonts and windows join the fascination. And then, sometimes, the huge emptiness when you cannot even look at the text for days.

So back to the co-writer for reassurance. Back to the blog to find clarity. Back to the café to watch people. Back to old Khayyam and the moving finger.

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