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Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Day 8 in the 15K in May House

Way Out - Maria A Smith

As many of you already know, I started this challenge a week ago, the idea is simple, write 15K in May. I'm doing it because  I want to move my WIP along. My novel, 'Broken Child' was written in November 2011, it was a messy first draft. I've since worked on it at a snails pace. The second draft has proved elusive. Out of control, I am struggling to reign it in and fix the plot holes.

I imagine I have the same problems many writers have had before me, but I can't seem to get a grip of them, so the only way, is to write something everyday, and read, and rejig what I've already written. I know some writers revel in the editing process, it appears I'm not one of them. Strange because I really thought I would enjoy it.

My progress so far has been up and down, and I could list the reasons, instead I'll just say, working long hours, tiredness, and perhaps some procrastination.

Here are my daily word counts.

Wednesday - 297
Thursday - ZERO
Friday  - 521
Saturday - 150
Sunday - 714
Monday - 202
Tuesday - ZERO

Making a grand total of  1884 words. which is not as productive as I need to be, if I'm going to succeed. Reconnecting with my WIP is more difficult than I ever imagined, I've realised there is a lot of reading involved. An enormous amount of of rearranging sentences, and scenes. And even more thinking about plot. I cannot panic, I must stay on the path, grit my teeth and plough on, whatever happens.

If anyone has any tips, or advice on how they edit, please share, it would very much be appreciated.

17 comments:

  1. Editing is difficult. Perhaps use the last part of your writing day to decide on tomorrow's section of the novel you'll be working on, with a brief read through, so it has chance to work it's magic overnight? It may take you deeper into the story and give you fresh ideas when you next sit down to write. Also, you'll know beforehand where to start. Good Luck, Maria, 1884 words is a lot of progess.

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    1. Thank you Sharon, I'll try deciding before I finish up, what I want to write tomorrow, that makes a lot of sense. :-)

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  2. Chin up, Maria - you have 1884 words you didn't have before the start of the challenge. I am inexperienced with editing a long piece, but I did find lots of useful advice in a kindle book by Roz Morris called 'Nail Your Novel'. If you are a logical, organised person (which I am not!) she has loads of great organisational tips and tricks to help with rewrites and editing. You can find her on twitter @nailyournovel

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    1. Hi Wayne, I have that book! It is very good I agree, but like you, I am not logical, or organised... ;-) You're right though, I do have an additional 1884 words.

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  3. It may be that you'll pick up speed and words as you move through the month, but if you're editing that may not be so easy. I'm terrible for editing as I go along which stifles the flow. I think as Sharon says, it's good to sleep on something as often the unconscious mind will find solutions! :-) x

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    1. I used to edit as I went in the first draft, and it was fine for a short story, but when I switched to novels, I found I couldn't get the first draft finished because I'd constantly pick away at it...

      So, I've written one without a single edit, and now in second draft I am finding it hard, I'm hoping it will get easier, the more I get with it. And yes, the unconscious mind is brilliant for solving problems. :-)

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  4. You're doing well,keep on writing.

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    1. Thank you Anne...I will, and you MUST too. :-)

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  5. Hello Maria.
    I have just started attacking my first draft but found I too was getting tied up in the grammar and structure, whilst ignoring the elephantine plot holes that crowded around me sniggering. I was also getting slightly obsessed with always upping the word count, sometimes at the expense of clarity. Goals are a good idea, but moving things along in the right direction is what's important. I took a step back and made an honest list of the plot holes, the characters and areas that just didn't work, and each evening I speed-write on one of these until something interesting turns up. It usually does.

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    1. Hi Stephen,

      That is a different way of looking at it. I may try the list thing...thank you for sharing. :-)

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  6. You can do it. Editing is tough. Perhaps there is a scene missing and writing it will bump up your word count.

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    1. Jai, you may be correct, I also need to do some research on stuff, and usually that will trigger something else. Thank you. ;-)

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  7. Hi Marie, I am no expert in editing novels (yet to work my way through my first draft!) but went to an excellent workshop on editing recently. Tutor suggested start at macro level - overall structure, shape of dramatic arc, crisis points, right scenes in right places. Then move on to intermediate level - consistent characters, convincing dialogue, areas where tone or style falters, sharpen descriptions, cut waffle. Finally, move down to micro level and check spelling, grammar, punctuation. She explained we often start tinkering at micro level but need to tackle the other two levels first.
    Not sure if that helps, but it made sense at the time :)

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    1. It makes sense, I've tried a few of these already but thank you for sharing, I'll definitely focus more on what you've written here. Thank you!

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  8. Hi Maria

    It's difficult when you have set yourself the task of increasing wordcount and are then editing. Editing at first usually involves shedding wordcount. Try taking one scene a day. Read it and ask questions: does this scene work here/at all; is it viewed from the right character POV ( I have changed pov to good effect); does the scene contain too much/too little detail; is it making a point? Once you have ascertained all that you can redraft it. Afterwards you can do the grammar and spelling. Also try to work with an electronic copy then print off a physical version as you can miss things in both mediums.

    Lastly, try to enjoy it and take breaks. It is more tiring than writing first draft.
    Good luck!
    Elaine xxx

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    1. Thanks Elaine, good point about checking both electronically and on paper...The printer is out of ink, as my daughter is in the midst of art coursework. I will have to nip out and get some tomorrow.

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  9. We need to embrace the editor in us!! Find out what you love about editing and do it that way. What are you afraid of? Confront it! If there's something you feel you don't know learn it or be happy with what you've got! We can do this!!!!! You're right, we seem very similar when it comes to our editing issues..

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I really appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment, and I try to reply to every one. Many thanks!