Sunday, November 23, 2014

Plan C

A long time ago I started out writing and I just wrote whatever came to mind. Idea after idea poured into notebooks and computers, the majority unfinished. That was Plan A. At some point I came up with Plan B; to finish what I start. This led to a number of completed projected, which was pretty gratifying until it came to...revisions.

Let me just say one thing about revisions (okay maybe two...). I love them and I hate them. I love them because it means I finished something and can now work on making it shine. But I hate them because I write rather messy first drafts and sometimes polishing them seems like an overwhelming task.

This has led me to Plan C. Write a nearly perfect first draft, one that will require only minimal revisions, the kind that doesn't look like a mountain of cut and paste and inserting scenes and deepening character and finding overused words and most importantly - for me - having everything in order. Because that seems to be one of the things that makes my first drafts messy. Not having things occur naturally and/or in the order they should. I don't want the reader to be happily engrossed in my story and then stumble over something that pulls her out and makes her think, 'hey, wait, wasn't there...?'

For example, reading over the first few chapters of my current project (in addition to my revisions on GRIMOIRE which I'm not letting myself slack on that because I've recently found some awesome agents to send it off to) I discovered that the family's dog is first mentioned later in chapter 3 when he should actually be mentioned earlier. It's a little thing. Some readers might not even wonder about where the dog was before it's first mention. But I noticed. And I want all those little discrepancies gone. I don't want to stumble over a single word. I'm tired of spending too much time revising when I could be writing something new.

 Now, I realize Plan C is rather ambitious. After all, who the heck writes a near perfect first draft? But maybe if I can pay attention more, be a little more of an editor while I write, maybe I can write a better first draft. I think I can.

Anyway. That's what's up with me. What's up with you?


15 comments:

  1. I think if you plan enough before beginning, you can write a decent first draft. Maybe that's why I enjoy revisions more - I work out everything ahead of time and as I write the first draft, so edits aren't pure misery.

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  2. I know a lot of people write, then go back and straighten it up pretty well before going on. I think that definitely helps to not have hot messes when you get to the end. I used to do this, but here lately I've been challenging myself to try and write faster which means... it's not all that pretty. =)

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  3. I revise while I write. When I'm finished, I go over everything again, multiple times.

    Love,
    Janie

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  4. Fascinating. I suspect that if I was a writer I would need to do edits. Big edits - as the character/story takes on a life of its own. Whatever works for you is the right way.

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  5. Actually it's something I've been doing myself. I know I will have to do some editing but not as much as before.

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  6. That's actually how I usually write. Not a perfect first draft, no way. But a methodical one. It's a slow process. My inner editor wants me to research everything as I go to make sure it's right. I've tried writing a fast first draft (this month was to be my grand experiment in fast-drafting), but my mind just doesn't work that way. I can't leap to the next scene until I understand the one I just finished. But I will say my revisions are mostly about cleaning up language/grammar and not about story issues. So that's a plus I suppose.

    Good luck! And I hope you find an agent to take a look at Grimoire. :)

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  7. That's why I outline and plot before I start. Not that it helps...

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  8. I'm a Plan C girl. But every chapter takes me a long time - at least in the first half of the book. Making sure all the most vital backstory and info is in there, but keeping the story moving, is a challenge. But I can't move forward if I know there's a bunch of poo behind me. Good luck with Grimoire and the new one! :)

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  9. Ugh, editing. I will be starting on editing hardcore come the new year. For now, I'm all about the writing. Good luck with Plan C!

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  10. Know what you mean. Right now, I'm cutting and shifting in my project. And utilizing your suggestions you gave me months back.

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  11. A nearly perfect first draft? I'm thinking anybody who thinks their first draft is nearly perfect hasn't really seen the possibilities of what their manuscript can become with time and patience and perspective.

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  12. Great that you're working on something that works for you. Hopefully though, you're also having a fun go of it, too.

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  13. I tend to use the Plan C approach every time. It may take a little longer, but it saves editing time later. :)

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  14. It's funny because when I think about it, I'm actually doing the exact opposite of you. I used to do Plan C, but it took me forever to get a finished ms, and by the time I was done, it was no longer the story I wanted to write. *le sigh* So now, I'm writing fast and super messy (thanks to NaNo :P) and I know I'm going to have a hell of a time with the editing phase....but maybe that'll work out better for me??? I don't know. The thing is finding what works which is not always easy. Everyone's different. Heck, I may end up going back to writing like I used to..... Anyway, good luck with it and keep us posted. :)

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