Friday, June 14, 2013

So...what now?

So. I've finished another novel - # 6 in case anyone is counting - and I've learned a few things. The biggest is that it's okay to have a messy first draft. My obsession with each chapter being perfect resulted in none of my early works being completed. I can't even tell you how many half finished novels I have sitting on my computer, the characters languishing, waiting for the day their lives can continue (and yes, that IS how I think of them. Always waiting for me to write their lives so they can have one). But once I let go of that obsession I finally completed my first manuscript. I won't say it's gotten a lot easier but I have learned how to move past the parts I'm not wild about, make some notes about how to change it, and get on with the story. I also found a new way to detour around the dreaded writer's block thanks to somebody in the bloggy world (thank you for that suggestion!) which is to write the end. Doing that helped me figure out exactly which direction to head in rather than taking a stab at it. And the last thing I'll share is the knowledge that finishing doesn't make it done. I knew as soon as I began writing that there would be revisions to follow and that those revisions (how many? As many as it takes) would be what really completes the book, turn it into the kick-ass scifi I envisioned when I started.

So. What now? Now I get to take a break and play with the SNTs (shiny new toys) I found or go back to an older unfinished work or maybe I won't write at all and just read. In a month's time I'll begin round two of the polishing process, after which I'll send it out to be read. Then we'll see if my story is as kick-ass as I think it is...


Now. What are you doing? Where are you in this crazy process we call writing? Taking a well-earned break? Furiously revising? Just found a shiny new toy? Do tell.

33 comments:

  1. Congrats Marcy! That's awesome.

    REALLY SMART to give it a break before diving into again. The mind needs to chill and have so fun too. Reading is a great way to relax and escape.

    Enjoy your weekend and YAY for you!!!

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    1. I agree about the break; it will help me see it with new eyes when I go back to it and hopefully find all the things I missed that need fixing!

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  2. I like the idea of writing the ending. Right now I'm trying to figure out what twist to throw into a scene, which has me momentarily stalled. Maybe that will unstall me. Thanks for that. :)

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    1. I've never done it before but I'll probably do it again since it worked so well :)

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  3. I'm three books behind you. Finished the first draft of #3 at the end of May and am ignoring it until July. Now I'm looking again at #2, which I started submitting in February. It's not getting great response...so I'm going at it again, chapter by chapter to make sure voice is strong and POV is clear. I found places where I didn't do as well as I thought writing in scene, and feel glad I didn't submit to my A+ agent choices yet...

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    1. It's amazing how we think something is finished and then we go back to it and find...eh, not so much.

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  4. Now, how exactly did you let go on the obsession of the perfect chapter? I suffer of that oooooooooooh so much! But it's kind of compulsive to me. And I really must drop it or I will never finish my story. I really must.

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    1. I think I got tired of not finishing anything and made a conscious effort to leave my imperfect writing as it was with the knowledge that I would come back and fix it after I'm done. It took a while to get over the habit of trying to make it all perfect the first time. This last book is probably my messiest yet!

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  5. "... finishing doesn't make it done." Boy, talk about a rude awakening, huh? Writing THE END is an exhilarating feeling until you remember how much more work has to be done.

    Congrats on finishing #6. You go, girl! Me, I'm in the research stage. My hubby already told me if NSA comes knocking at our door, he's gonna point them in my direction. I mean, really. Just because I've been reading up various explosives...

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    1. Explosions can be fun...I'll be interested to hear more about what you're working on.

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  6. I admit I'm still an obsessed perfectionist. I can't move on until I'm satisfied with a scene. It makes me slow, but I eventually push through. I plan on being done with this novel in the fall. It will be my third completed novel. It's taken me twice as long to write as I planned (two years), but I blame most of that on blogging and social media. :P

    And, yes, I always take a month or two off between big writing projects to just read and recharge and maybe think about the next project. It's important to do that before diving back into revisions. :)

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    1. I started NO REST last December so 7 months for a first draft. I had to stop going over and over everything I wrote because that's pretty much all I was doing.

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  7. Congratulations! Glad starting with the end helped you.
    Care to share any shiny new ideas?

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    1. Not sharing any new ideas yet since they're just ideas right now and I'm not sure they're going to turn into anything yet - but as soon as I have a new wip I'll be sure to announce it :)

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  8. Congratulations! Enjoy playing with your SNTs. You deserve it. :) I'm trying desperately to meet my deadline. Must find some writing time this weekend to do so.

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    1. No deadlines for me - yet :)

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  9. Great on you for finishing. I love it when I finish something and have to pick out what to work on next.

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    1. I do enjoy the freedom to work on whatever strikes my fancy for a bit. Plus the extra reading I'm doing. Just finished a book last night and started another one today :)

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  10. That's why I don't tell people I finished something anymore. They thought it was done done.

    At the moment I'm working on three different stories...

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    1. Yeah, it's not 'done done' until I've re-written it a half dozen times, lol.

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  11. When I get the final editing done on my current WIP and turn my attention to the next story in my head I'm determined to write the first draft all the way through without editing and rewriting every chapter as I go. I've never managed it yet. Wish me luck.

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    1. I will wish you a big basket of luck!

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  12. I'm working on rewrites to Killer Stilettos.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

    PS bet you feel relieved.

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  13. I have no problem finishing novels these days. I do have a problem getting any of them ready for publication though. ;)

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    1. Revising can sometimes be harder than writing the story in the first place.

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  14. Six novels is a huge achievement, Marcy!
    I'm a perfectionist too, in almost all aspects of my life (and sometimes other peoples' lives too LOL)

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    1. haha, wouldn't it be fun to manage someone else's life for a change? Sometimes I think that would be easier :)

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  15. Good for you! I love those first drafts and could probably be content to write them and move on forever. :) However I'm currently in the midst of polishing 4 different stories - all completed and in various stages of editing. Hopefully once summer comes I can start a new draft!! :)

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  16. I think you've done a heck of a lot of work and deserve a break. Relax, play with SNTs, and read things you want to! :-)

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  17. Way to go! I struggle with the messy first draft too; I need to just vomit it out and clean it up later. My current WiP started out as a novella in March, but now it's a novel, and I hope to have the first draft finished this week. It's close.

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  18. I'm taking a writing break. A long break! It sounds like you have discovered what works for you. Someday, I hope to do the same. Good work!

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