Sunday, February 21, 2010

Wannabe Writers #4

Wannabe Writers is a new meme created by Sarah of Confessions of the Un-published!

One of my goals right now is to move my literary ambitions out of the box and onto the shelf, by which I mean that I no longer want to ignore how much I enjoy writing. I love the idea of this meme, and I'll quote from Sarah's post here:

I often find myself searching the web for information during my struggles as a new writer. So I wanted to start a place where us future young-adult authors can come together to ask those questions, share our stories, and get feedback.

I'm going to be offline for the day, but I will read your lovely comments and get back to y'all on your blogs ASAP Monday. :-)

Where I am in the writing process:  This week I entered  my 2nd writing contest; the prize is a critique. I think that's the next step for Novel #1. I burned myself out last week whipping it into shape for the contest so I took a break from both novels after going through about 25 novel pages of feedback from my college critique buddy. I spent all that glorious free time reading! That's research for a writer, right?

My current problems:  I'm having trouble writing a few characters because I usually don't pay attention when I'm in their situation. How do you include ideas, concepts and actions in your novel that you're not personally skilled at?

Question(s) this week: Is editing as you go a bad thing? The day ends and many times I have less words than when I started. How do I stay focused on the end of my story?

A lot of what I've read recently insists that editing as you go is BAD, BAD, BAD, but, per my usual, I disagree. When I start to write, I back up to the beginning of the section I wrote during my previous session and edit it as I read. Then, when I've finished, I know exactly where I am in the story, and I've cleaned up some of the bits and pieces that were missing before. Sometimes it means a total re-write, and sometimes it doesn't. I find that keeping up with the editing gives me less loose ends to have to tie up, and I can make reference to certain things along the way without them seeming as forced. (Note: I don't go in and tear out entire chapters or throw out an entire plotline until I'm finished with the first draft because then I get too caught up in the details to finish the piece coherently.)

Forcing myself to focus on the end isn't really an issue for me; I'm one of those people who likes everything to be done before going on to something else. I have to finish the story before I can go back and do major continuity edits. Then I have to do a whole round of continuity edits, such as streamlining subplots and strengthening characters, before I can even think about ripping into individual sections. That's just the way my brain works (kinda like eating all my veggies at dinner before I can move on to the good stuff).

1 comment:

  1. I think I'm starting to see that it's not quite as bad as I think. I'm realizing that I have to edit as I go. It takes me forever to finish everything but I think when I finially do it will be pretty close to done. Does that make sense? I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who has to work like that.