Young Adult Dark Urban Fantasy Author ~

Posts tagged “Editing and Proofreading

And Away We Go..

First off…As if I do not have enough hair pulling going on with simply trying  write,  I have thrown myself into the twitter bowl. If nothing else, it should be entertaining to watch me crash and burn for a few weeks.

On a positive note, writing picked up steam last night and I was not only able to stomach the first 7 again, but actually made some good edits along the way. I’m on the upside of my carousel ride again…I pray it hangs in for a while.

What’s with the yo-yo?

It’s not just me, I know that. But I swear I’m on some whacked out carousel ride with high lifting horses and low riding carriages that keeps going in circles and will not let me off.

These last few weeks have been awful. Writing wise. I lost my thread, my focus, my concentration, my mind and it’s taking everything I have to get it all back–to make myself finish my final draft.

How many times do you have to hear your favorite song before you hate it? You know the one. That great song. The song that gets replayed so many times you could scream. I’m there. I will throw up if I read my first 7 chapters again.

How in the hell do people write the same novel for… years? I’m guessing at some point they say, well it’s a good as it gets, I can’t look at this anymore.

So…I started reading backwards. You know, from the last paragraph forward. Edit one and move up. So far, it’s working. I’m kind of afraid to say that out loud in fear of jinxing myself. But there seems to be some type of odd symmetry happening. My brain isn’t hearing the same story I’ve gone over more times than I can count. It is seeing and hearing mistakes more clearly though and at this point, I think, editing more productively. So if you are in this most trying place with your writing, give the backward edit a try. Hell, maybe writing from the end could work too.

This isn’t a rush job

(By Shannon9791 via Photobucket)

This is my new mantra. “This isn’t a rush job!” Only I try to say it calmly.

Do you have those days when you wonder if you should scrap it and walk away–or at least toward another project? But then you read a quote or an excerpt and you remember the reason you’re doing this in the first place?  Me too.

There is this blind sort of faith that goes along with writing and finishing a novel. A faith you’re putting into the void in hopes that it will return the favor. As much as my mind seems to have taken a hiatus from any useful thoughts in relation to my (should already be finished) novel, I know I’ll never walk away from it. So in that light, I am attempting to acquire a new look on my writing. Slow and steady wins the race and all that.

In the end, what matters is that I don’t walk away, that I do stay focused (even when it seems impossible–even when that means taking a break) and that I don’t rush it. The ups and downs and backs and forths are tiring. And although I have been going back and forth for a year now with this process, somehow it feels more overwhelming than it ever has. I’m trying to convince myself it’s because this is the Final Draft and therefore, MUST be right. Either way, it isn’t a rush job and like I’ve said before, I’d rather be slow and right, than fast and wrong. So…I’ll be taking a break.

When it’s not writers block or inspiration lack..

…When it’s not procrastination. What the hell is it?

 It’s something–something I can’t put my finger on. Maybe it’s a break. Maybe I need one. Maybe that’s all it is. I literally can not focus. For days, I can’t. Maybe its burn out. Maybe working on something else for a while would help. Suggestions?  Been here before?

Take the advice

I’ve been caught on a wire as of late. Walking the fine line between forward motion and standing still. I wrote a post a couple of months ago about reading too much–too many helpful articles, too much advice from other writers and authors and how I believed it was negatively impacting my thought process and my ability to move forward at a greater rate. In that post I said that sometimes you need to trust yourself, believe in your writing, in your story and stop allowing the chatter and opinions of all the other sources to derail you.

I think I was wrong. Not about believing in yourself or your story but about not needing to take advice from fellow authors at a certain point in your writing. I thought that after almost a year in, I should just trust myself and my work. And that perhaps all the advice reads were slowing me down and making me question too much.

Questioning is good. Questioning is needed, whether it slows you down or not. My setbacks are my own, the information I allow to penetrate or side track my forward motion is also mine. Every piece of information that is read doesn’t need to resonate or sink in. But the few that do seep through the cracks, go a very long way and can mean the difference between great and good, good and fair. And the authors out there, a lot of them who I follow (in my blogroll), know what they are saying. They are in this business. So take the advice, all the way to the end and then again through the query process and the submission process and the revision and on and on…….

Quote of the Day

“Writing is rewriting. A writer must learn to deepen characters, trim writing, intensify scenes. To fall in love with a first draft to the point where one cannot change it is to greatly enhance the prospects of never publishing.”
-Richard North Patterson

Quote of the Day

“Start early and work hard. A writer’s apprenticeship usually involves writing a million words (which are then discarded) before he’s almost ready to begin. That takes a while.”

-David Eddings

Do I really have to kill them all??

(By PrimroseSue via Photobucket)

I like some of them. Some of them work well, truly they do. I don’t want to do this! It’s going to take FOREVER!

What a touchy subject. Cut them all! Leave them alone, they’re fine. Get them out!

I’ve made it known what a huge reader I am. And I will say right now that I have read many books with plenty of…..ADVERBS! One in particular, a very popular book, is loaded with them. Many writers say to cut them all….every single one. Others say, a few are just fine. And others still, LOVE them and use them with no qualms. So what’s the best answer?

As I am scrutinizing my first 6 chapters (again), I’m finding it hard to see a middle ground. I am also finding a few ummm….. wickedly, lovely, softly, gently….CRAP!

“The road to hell is paved with adverbs.”
Stephen King

I guess Stephen King would know. I’ll continue cutting.

Quote of the Day

“Books aren’t written–they’re rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn’t quite done it.”
-Michael Crichton

(This has my name written all over it.)

Character development

It seems the more I write, the more I read.  And the more I inadvertently watch character development. I’ve been reading a ridiculous amount recently, it helps immensely to widen the scope in my own writing and I’ve seen more and more how  imperative it is to show the reader what you see as the author.

I can sit here at my laptop and edit or add text or work on a different book. I can choose any of my WIP‘s and vividly see  my landscapes, my worlds, my characters and the intimate ways they all culminate. I can flip from novel to novel, brand new or a year old and see them all as though I were watching a movie. But my goal is to make the reader see what I see. That is also, I believe one of the biggest challenges for a lot of writers. All those minute details that are needed to bring words off the page and to life.

I was recently reading one of the books on my ‘Currently Reading’ list and felt that familair tug of wanting more. More detail, more…life.  It seemed at the end of the day (or book) I still wouldn’t feel connected to a certain character. I didn’t feel the pull that I am sure the author intended, that I am sure the author felt as it was being written.

My point being just because you, as the author, feel it and see it and know it doesn’t mean you are conveying it to the reader. I think we (me too!) have a tendency to get so caught up in our story, so excited or touched or moved by everything we are creating, that we sometimes forget the reader can’t see inside our heads. It’s our job to transport them into our imagination and hope they feel nice and comfortable and choose to stay a while.

So read your dialogue out loud and see how it sounds when it isn’t only in your own head. Hear how it sounds to someone who isn’t already in love with the main character because he only just got introduced.