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
Spent a few hours on Black Violas today, and put together a game plan on how to fix it. I was afraid it wasn’t fixable. I didn’t understand why the voice wanted to be in first person, but it did, desperately, and today I figured out why. I figured out why the ending didn’t work, and came up with a better one. I found a couple of muse bombs and I am exploiting the hell out of ‘em. This is going to be a kick ass story when I’m through with it. I would love to share specifics, but heck, that’ll ruin it for when you read it.
Final fixes for Hunter, cutting some wordage… tonight is it. Still love the story, and I think it’s better than ever. Submission email goes out *tonight*.
Revision was a blast. My dear sweet hubby took over kid duty at 6:30pm and I had all night to write instead of my usual hour and a half. I spent four and a half hours on the revision yesterday, and gave it a quick proofing today, and implemented the final changes. I think it’s good. I think it’s ready. It’s awesome when things work.
Reworking Hunter. I received a few crits back and it was rejected from the first market I submitted it to (with some interesting comments), so I figure, why not, let’s make it better.
That pesky first scene a few someone’s commented on, turns out didn’t live up to its potential because the finale didn’t really zing. I’m adding zing. And my hero, Daymar, misses a huge opportunity to confront his commanding officer who is essentially his role model. Adding that. Then there’s a mysterious chameleon that was neat in the first version, but should’ve gone by the wayside when the griffon did about four revisions ago.
I’ll find another home for the lizard; this just isn’t it.
A few days off due to family and stuff, and now I’m back at the keyboard. Working on Black Violas, and it’s coming along nicely. Slow, unfortunately, as I am rewriting the story, so it’s deeper than an edit, and not quite as free as a first draft, but it’s strong. My heroine is bitter yet motivated, and damn if she isn’t going to figure this out, one way or another.
Black violas edit is underway; the new opening rocks.
Received Hunter back from a submission, no luck there. I want to revise it again before I send it out, but I need to finish Black Violas first.
Watering the Black Violas is in the edit process now. It’s drastic in that the pov is shifting from third to first, and while I’m keeping the events fairly close to the original, it’s easier to jsut rewrite it into a clean new file. I’m eager to get it done, but I’m guessing it’ll take a few days at my evening writing pace. Then I can send it off for crit.
What a wild ride that was. I have a day off from work, and decided to spend it baking and writing. I spent 6 hours working on the short story edit, only taking brief breaks to get water or swap laundry around. If I had tried this during my normal evening hours, it would have taken a week to complete. It’s off to some readers now, so I’ll have to wait for feedback. Hopefully, I’m not out of my mind on this one. (Or, scaring anyone off my writing!)
I hope Maya is happy now, and that the next round of revisions are minor.
I’ve been battling POV and continuing the edit (somewhat) but I’ve at least decided I still like first person for this story. I’m leaning toward past tense now, though present tense nags me just as much. I’m just going to have to make a choice at some point. Maybe tonight, because I have lots planned for this week.
Black Violas needs me. Tiger Princess needs me. I have research. I have a day off, which was supposed to be for writing, but it’s getting eaten up with baking plans and house cleaning that I’ve neglected for too long. So yes, I really need to choose.
I’m giving myself a deadline of tonight to make the decision. After that, I continue the edit, and be done with it in a day or two.
Some wonderfully dark ideas, some twisting of an already threatening situation, and a slave who stands up for herself… No wonder I can’t put it down. Perhaps this is a good sign.
I didn’t bother with the usual method. No analysis, no red-lining. Just jumped in and threw notes in to add or change details, deleted the uselesss stuff, and tweaked what didn’t work.
Another night, then I’ll send it off for feedback. If only I can lasso those past tense verbs leaping in front of my 1st person present…
Violas… new opening, definitely going with 1st person pov. Not sure of the ending yet, but reshaping the story. Mostly, I’m rewriting it, not just revising. None of the writing/language really thrilled me in the first draft, so I really just went through the original manuscript and chose which lines I really like and want to keep if I can. The rest, is just an outline.
Continued. Slow moving, but forward moving so I am glad. I realize two things now: I really need to learn more about commas (what seems right one day, seems wrong the next and vice versa), and that I need to do something with the immaculate white cat I mentioned on page three. Hmph.
I completed the redlining over lunch, determined what is to be gutted and what is to be edited, and where to insert new scenes and details. I expected it to hurt, to be reluctant to let these scenes die, but it doesn’t, and I didn’t. It feels right.
Thursday night lost to illness; good news is I’m back on my feet on Friday.
I think I’ve been really hard on myself lately in regard to my writing quality. I reread Violas today, and while the writing is fairly plain, it’s not the horrible disaster I thought it was. The ending will need tweaking for sure, but the story seems solid. Same situation with Hunter. I thought it was a complete rewrite, but after analyzing it tonight, that’s an extreme option that I don’t think the story needs to deal with.
The focus has changed, and Daymar is no longer the “Hunter, Hunted” but he’s still a hunter, and while the tables have turned on him, his role, his task has become much more complicated than simply capturing an evil witch. Scenes need to be added, other bits need to be removed, and then everything smoothed and edited. I have faith in this story. I can’t believe I wrote this over five years ago. I need to give it some life already.
Fading Light has been posted for my crit group. I’m eager for some feedback and a little fearful as well. I’m always fearful on crits. Occupational hazzard I guess.
A full day with the kids is exhausting, yet I still pushed this evening. Did some science research for Black Violas, tried working on the first draft a bit, but failed at that. Science fiction is difficult for me, not impossible, just very difficult. It requires a lot of effort to understand concepts that do not come naturally to me, but yet I have the need to understand them to represent them properly in the story. I don’t always understand the science I read in science fiction either, but I try. And for some reason I love reading it. Figure that one out.
I’m giving my brain some time to adjust to the science and am going to spend the rest of my writing time tonight review Hunter for those changes. I originally decided it would be a rewrite. I need to skim through the manuscript and select which passages will remain.
This story breaks my heart every time I work on it. But I worked through it, and the edit is complete. I’ll review for typos in the morning and then send off to my crit group. This is one of my best pieces, and it follows my trend of dark and painful. I guess I just can’t write happy. I need more puppies and rainbows…
I’m in edit mode, so I’m going with it. Fading Light is moving along once again, and I’ve cleared the dust off Hunter Hunted, which is getting revamped big time and is due for a title change. Writing is once again becoming a daily event. Now I need to work on completing tasks a little quicker. Fading Light needs a few more days of computer time and Hunter needs some paper & pen time so they balance well. It doesn’t help that tonight is the season premiere of Heroes, but I guess I’d better make good use of now.
The Sunguard edit is complete and off to critters. The story doubled in size and some plot layers were added. I have a feeling the resolution isn’t what it should be, so I need to give it one more pass for sure. But my time has paid off, I think it’s a good story. It just needs a little more editing love.
Exhaustion hit me early evening, which makes me really glad I pushed on the story over lunch. The entire draft of Sunguard has been redlined on paper, with sheets of new scenes and paragraphs that need to be added. Evening is starting to become difficult again at week 24 of this pregnancy, and I still have about 14 weeks to go. Sunguard is my priority this weekend, but I think I’ll have to focus most of the work around the daughter’s afternoon naps. It’s killing me not to have this one done already.
I managed some decent writing today. Nighthunter’s Bite is coming together in my mind, and I’ve got some more notes. Sunguard is definitely moving ahead. I went back to redlining on paper with pen instead of using MS Word’s track changes, and I feel like it’s made all the difference. I redlined 7 of 17 pages today, and handwrote a new scene, plus bits of some other scenes that needed additions.
Is it possible I’m getting somewhere?
I spent a good deal of time on Sunguard today, but a computer glitch resulted in a loss of every one of those changes. My evening was spent preparing for the vacation, so I had no time to redo the edits. I did receive a rejection on my short story, so I prepped the next submission package and will mail it out again on Tuesday.
The vacation is going to be fun, but getting ready to go on one is usually a fairly busy time, especially with kids involved. I’ll get there, even if I don’t sleep tonight!
Yes, still going with Sunguard. I haven’t touched it since earlier in the week and I really want to try and finish this version before I head out on vacation. I had about an hour tonight and implemented the simple edits I marked on the printed manuscript, but I still have in-line comments I made with one scene to add and another scene to rewrite. Time remaining? I have my lunchbreak tomorrow, and a short bit of time tomorrow night before I start packing, so there is some hope. I’m eager – this one is going to be my next submission.
I’m working on the next draft of Sunguard. The story has come a long way from when I struggled to write it, and it still isn’t easy. The effort has been worth it though, I really think I salvaged a decent story from first draft garbage. Another day or two and the issues should be ironed out.