Monday, August 18

Wait...wait...just a minute...

I’m not a very good waiter. (Probably waitress, either—I’m so messy—but that’s not what we’re talking about here. Pay attention.) I never think of myself as the spoiled, instant gratification type, but…there you go. I hate waiting.
          Now that I’ve started this post, I have to admit it’s not going in any interesting kind of direction, because what I can’t wait on is my own story.
          My intent when I started my WIP, especially since it isn’t sold yet, was to dash through a first draft in record time, then saunter back through a second draft. You know, getting rid of people I don’t need; fixing whose and who’s and its and it’s; taking out all the foreshadowing of things that didn’t happen and adding it in for things that did. I was going to do this because it makes sense. Of course it does.
          The other night, when I finished working for the day, I looked down at the word count and thought, “Hmm…” (I also thought my number for the day was pathetic, but I’m not talking about that right now. Probably later.) I have no idea why I did this, but I brought the calculator up on the computer’s desktop and discovered I was at exactly, EXACTLY (okay, within 50 words) of 60 percent finished with the story. Cool, I thought. Eighty would be better, but I’m not ashamed of 60.
          The next morning, I couldn’t write a word. I typed Chapter 13 and stopped. Dead. Because there was something back there somewhere I needed to fix. And I’d had two men named Max, for heaven’s sake. And there was no way all that could have happened to one person in a single lifetime.
          I have no idea why I couldn't get beyond that point before I went back to do editorial repair, but, as people say all the time on Facebook, it is what it is.
          So now I’m back in Chapter 5, fixing its and it’s and getting rid of a Max and a few life experiences. I’ll never have a real first draft, because I can’t wait till I get to the end to fix what I’ve done.
          Am I alone in this? Leave a comment and let me know. And please hurry—I can’t wait!

          

30 comments:

  1. Yes, you are alone. Lol

    I jest. I used to be like that and found I never got very far. Now I just keep going and say to myself - don't worry about it just keep going you can fix it later.

    Upon saying that I find using scrivener very useful for being able to quickly find the part you need to fix and then moving on. Do you use scrivener?

    Great post BTW!

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    1. Thanks, Louise. And no, I don't use it because I'm so reluctant to learn about new software, but I'm beginning to think it might be a good idea. Thanks for coming by!

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  2. I'm that way too, Liz. I just can't seem to make myself move on when I know what I wrote before needs polishing. Of course, I still go back when I'm finished for a final check but it usually doesn't need much because I did it as I went along.

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    1. Well, me, too, Vic--but just once I'd love to make it through the whole thing before I had to go back. I don't mind that I have to read yesterday's work before I start today's, but what I'm doing now just takes more time than I should spend on it.

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  3. When to edit? Constantly and throughout, it seems, with the bulk of it being done after the manuscript is finished. I think in your case, Liz, you're wise to tidy up the name dilemma now, which will provide for faster writing next. :)

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  4. I often edit the last chapter written just before beginning a new day's work. That throws me me back into the action and reminds me where I was headed with the story. I still do overall edits later on--and on--but cleaning as I go is my M.O. in writing and in the kitchen. (smile)

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    1. I do that, too, and I like it--starts me off right--but what I'm doing now is going clear back to the beginning and I really, truly wish I wouldn't do it. However, that being said, it does bring me in close to the story--a good thing. Thanks for coming, Ashantay!

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  5. I probably don't have to tell you why it took me a solid year to write the book I just finished a week or so ago, right? I'm editor--first, last, and always. I can't leave my own work alone any more than I can leave anyone else's work alone. Yeah...I've never once gotten through a real true "first draft." It is what it is, baby. ;-)

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    1. LOL. I think mine might be that OCD we talked about...

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  6. I have to read the last chapter written to get into the flow. When I do, I have to correct it.

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    1. Oh, yes, absolutely, but then I change things... Thanks, Sandy!

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  7. I edit what I wrote the day before then continue onward. When I get to the end of a chapter, I edit the chapter as a whole before starting a new one. Honestly, I don't understand how people write start to finish without editing. SO MUCH WORK after writing the end. With my method, rewrites generally take me a few days. So, no, you aren't alone!

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    1. I agree that rewrites at the end go fast for me, which is good because I don't want to wait to send it out to the editor, either. I'm starting to enjoy this club!

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  8. I always edit as I go. I've never been able to write the proverbial "shitty" first draft. It's just not in me. I'm not a fast writer, but the upside is that I never think my writing is junk.

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    1. I occasionally think it's junk when I go back to the beginning when the whole thing is written. :-) But I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who can't do the first draft.

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  9. LOL, Liz. That's just funny. I write kind of slow. I write a chap, send it to CPs, wait (yeah, I hate to wait too), get chap back, fix. Write next chap.

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    1. And I think you write so fast! Which just goes to show how slow I am. :-)

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  10. I wish I could be a steam rolling writer without looking back until the end. Sadly I am not.If I know something is broke, I HAVE to go back and fix it or I'm like you, just sitting there staring at a blank screen.

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    1. Yup, here we are. Doesn't sound as though we're alone, though, does it, Margie?

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  11. I'm no good with waiting, either, Liz...but focusing on something else always helps, whether it's editing as I go (Yep, I do that) or starting another project altogether.

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    1. I do the starting another project when I've sent one off, and it does save me doing the waiting-panic-repeat thing!

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  12. I think - especially after reading the comments - that there's no perfect way. Do what works for you. If your gut is saying edit now - then you should edit. Or what you force yourself to write, with your brain half-focused elsewhere - will also need to be redone. Do what feels right, that's the beauty of the craft! :)

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    1. Yes, but I'm always thinking I can do better... Thanks for coming by, Abigail!

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  13. I can't write the whole thing first either. I usually edit as I go along too!

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    1. Hi, Shawn. Sometimes it can help you get unstuck, too--that's the good part.

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  14. I can't, that's cannot re-read what I've written without doing some editing, no matter how small. No way could I write from beginning to end without stopping. That being said, next month I'm participating in a local nowrimo. I'm going to give it on heck of a try!

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    1. Oh, I hope you do well! I never accomplished anything past the 3rd day on it. I write much slower than I used to, so maybe I'll give it a try one of these days just to see if I can speed myself up!

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  15. Very cute post, Liz : ) I edit as I go, too. I have to, mistakes are such nags!

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