Thursday, November 10, 2011

SUPER AWESOME BIG TIME REWRITE: In Which Funny Pictures Of Children Help Me Express My Angst

Aaaaarg!!! I'm so READY to be done with with this draft and move on to my revision...yeah, my revision of my rewrite. (Well you know, this rewrite feels much more like a "draft 1" one than a "draft 10" or whatever.)

I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy about the revision part of novel writing because I'm currently at the part of the writing process where I'm really angry at my manuscript for not writing itself for me. Like it's waaaay more fun to revise a draft than to write a first draft. Don't get me wrong, I do love revising. But I think I'm supposed to like just plain writing too. I mean, I must like just plain writing some of the time. Right?

Can't be too sure about that at the moment though (doubty face emoticon).

I know that there are times in writing when you can't or shouldn't rushing things, but goodness gracious, I feel like I should be done already! I've been just one or two chapters from finishing this rewrite for about...I don't know...a lifetime? And then when I finish a chapter, I realize that I'm going to have to add one more
chapter than I thought I was going to need. So I'm STILL one or two chapters from the end. It's like trying to walk up a down escalator, except less fun. It's maddening!

Why would you do this to me, my manuscript? Don't you know I love you? I love you soooo muuuchboohoohooohooohooo!

(sniff, sniff)

The cool thing about revising a completed draft is that you've already made all your most basic decisions, you have your ending, and your characters have already done all the junk they need to do to get to said ending. The first draft may not be perfect, but since everything is basically already there, writing becomes akin to molding a figure from a chunk of clay. You're taking bits out and adding bits in and shaping details and bringing forth the figure that's already in the clay, waiting to be dug out. And
making the decisions that accomplish that is a great (and fun) challenge.

It's decided.

I give myself another week. I can finish a chapter or two in a week, right? Well, I'd better.

Or else!


  1. The baby pictures are funny. I've seen the one on the bottom with the baby making a fist before...that one is cool and I think part of online memes.

    In my personal writing experience, there are two areas that I don't really like all that much. One of them is writing the climax and "the end" to a novel. I think that part is really hard, especially where I write science-fiction and there's supposed to be something that occurs in the last chapters of the book that blows everything else away and makes sense of all that has come before. In my sequel, this was especially challenging. It helps to storyboard a ton (which I do) in the outlining process so that I can keep my eye on the prize (the ending).

    The second thing that I dislike are the seemingly never-ending edits. As soon as I finish a draft, I re-read the entire thing and edit it for clarity. Once that is done, I sometimes send it to a trusted beta-reader. But on my latest...I skipped the beta-reader because that really is asking a lot from a person and just sent it straight to a professional editor (by professional I mean that she has journalism credentials and is paid handsomely for her work). She sends them back, I do the edits and once that is done (a process of months), then I go through and re-read it again (need distance from the WIP) and then edit it again with my own eyes on things both me and my editor missed. Only then is it ready to send off to the publisher. Then they edit it and send it back to me for revisions they want. Then I go through it AGAIN and make the revisions. Then I reread it once more to make sure I didn't double type words by accident or erase one letter.

    This is a pain in the ass. I wish I had a Big Six contract because I'm sure it would be easier but I don't so right now, that is my process. Writing is such bullshit sometimes. /sigh

    Anyways, you have my sympathies.

  2. I know exactly what you mean with writing a good, climatic ending for sci-fi! Do you ever feeling like, "oh, crap, I made the big exciting action scene that's not the ending to big snd exciting! How am I going to top that for the ending?" Cause that's what I'm sighing over at present. I usually have a pretty good outline at the beginning of my story, and it just gets kinda vague and unhelpful towards the end. But I do try to keep my eye on the prize by always having the idea of where I want to end up in mind, if not exactly how I'm getting there.

    When I get to the revision part of the process, I'll probably remember that I hate editing and pine for the good ol' days of writing a first draft.

    Thanks for sharing your process with me. I likes to read about how other writers work.

  3. You'll get there Cacy :) I can't wait to read it when it is done.

  4. Cute babies.

    Stopping by from the great comments award post.



  5. Yea! Thanks for coming by and stuff!