I’ve been working out, I’ve been eating right, and while I’ve been feeling better physically, I’ve also been a little down in the dumps. My writing isn’t what I want it to be right now. I know we all hit a rut now and then, and I just couldn’t figure it out. At least, not until I was driving to work this morning.
This story was supposed to be an easy edit, even with the point of view change from 1st to 3rd, so I treated it casually. Instead of my usual manuscript pages redlined to hell (and back), I decided to try a new approach I’ve read about other writers doing which is to rewrite the story from memory. It was good for the first two paragraphs. I have a new opening that I like, but then I fell apart.
I tried something new, but I think I tried it too late for this story. It’s good, and my revision notes are going to make it great. But not by rewriting it. If your soup just needs some pepper and salt, you do not need to dump the pot and start over. :) I will try this again, but with a first draft story that will benefit from a memory-rewrite.
For this one, I’ll be hitting the library with paper and pen and redlining the manuscript more thoroughly. Tonight, edits will go into the computer. I have a system. I like my system. I just need to stick with it and focus my efforts on the story.
So, what “new” thing have you tried, and did it work for you?
It’s been a rough couple of days. I haven’t been able to make use of all my writing sessions, but the ones I’ve gotten in have been productive. The revision for Lonely Orchard is underway and going well enough. Left arm is sore tonight – something is off about using the library computers for extensive typing. One library has wooden chairs so I can’t adjust height, another library has horrible keyboards so I have to pound the keys. At least I’ve been able to use my evening writing session for reading and giving my arms a little break.
I’ve shifted over to the multiple/simultaneous project mentality. I flowed into it because some of my little bits of writing time don’t always allow me computer access. I outlined the Tiger Princess story, and started writing it today. The first scene revealed some information about the characters I hadn’t realized–I thought the main character was my tiger princess, but someone else has claimed that title in a very creepy kind of way. Can’t wait to get this one day and out. :)
I got some feedback on my letter for viable paradise, and the revision should be fairly easy. The submission is going to take a little while–Nighthunter’s Bite is in good shape, but getting into this workshop is competetive, and I need it in tip-top condition. I’m concerned that I’m sending in my experimental story (1st person pov, present tense), but with proper editing I hope I can make it shine.
Black Violas is on a break (last night). I’m about to rewrite the ending, the right ending I believe, so looking at it fresh should help.
Despite my cold, I came down to write tonight. The edit’s been progressing well, and I got done several more pages tonight, and then realized that my wordcount is still way too high. I’m five pages from the end, which is going to be rewritten more or less. I had a brainstorm on eliminating a character that really truly isn’t neccessary. But he did serve an important part that can be transferred to another character, but that means adding a scene and removing a scene. It might end up being that this change will not alter the word count, but I think it puts my MC in a better position of seeing the crap that’s about to happen and not just get it from someone else.
This could be good, but it means I’m NOT done tonight.
And I still need to dig through my To Edit pile for some short stories for my viable paradise application.
I need more time in my day…
Violas is going well. Too bad I only get 1 – 2 hours at a time, but tonight I made good use of it. I passed the halfway mark, I’m reducing the word count, and winding the story tighter. I’m up early with the kids tomorrow, but hopefully can stay up late in the evening to finish this off. I’ve got to get this out to my readers/critiquers quick, and start looking at my other short stories.
Hubby and I finally agreed that I can apply to Viable Paradise, and I need to choose the right stories to include in my submission package. Then there’s the letter. I’ve been working on it with the intent to apply for the 2011 workshop, but things just seemed to fall into place this year.
Posted in Writing
Last night I stayed up late to complete the rewrite. Not the revision: the rewrite. Sent it off to a few friends who I know enjoy SF, and sure enough when I read it over lunch today I realized how far I had veered off course in the last five pages. This is major. And this always embarasses me. I know I need to wait 24 hours before sending it anywhere.
I figured out what it lacked, that was all I had time for. But the amazing thing of driving home from work, without the radio, without screaming kids in the car, is a focus for me. I connected the dots of what was wrong to how to fix it. And that’s what I’m doing now. Just finished the final redlining, and am launching into a screen edit.
Will I finish tonight? I sure as hell hope so!
I knew this revision for Black Violas is the toughest one I’ve done a long time. The biggest issue was the viewpoint (written in 3rd, revising in 1st) and that the wording/verbiage was rather pathetic. I’m making serious progress, and am rewriting the last of the scenes. At this point, actually, the ending is completely new. Yet, I still have a page of notes, details I need to work into the story.
Why is this so difficult? Why is it taking me so long?
And it just hit me today. I’ve improved. I’m doing two or three drafts worth of revision in this one revision. I’m seeing my problems all at once instead of revising for problem A, then revising for problem B.
This is big. :) I’m thrilled. I’m growing!
Posted in Writing