From Tedium To Excitement And Back Again

So after three days of revisions and finely-picking apart roughly 15,000 words across 32 pages things are becoming a bit of a chore. Well, I say that but what I actually mean is this: Things sometimes feel like a chore, and then other times they don’t.

It’s kind of like the writers equivalent of self-harm to go through and critique your own work with such a heavy hand. I’m trying to be deft and precise and clever with my alterations (and for the most part I think I’m succeeding) but I’m reading and then re-reading paragraphs that don’t quite sound right and trying to dissect the issue. It’s quite a laborious task – especially if you happen to be somebody like me who has the attention span of an infant.

On the up side, however, the story is actually feeling pretty good at this point. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m under no allusions that I’m the next member of the literary elite and I know I never will be. What I’m looking for is the ability to write enjoyable and readable stories that people will flock to en masse and be able to discuss with their friends afterwards. At the moment I definitely think Haunt holds the power to be the kind of book that will capture the imagination and certainly presents enough mysteries in one go to keep a person involved. I know a lot about needing to be encaptured by a story, seeing as I have the attention span of an infant (did I mention that already?)

I’m going to go back to editing now and trying to keep an eye keen. This blog is definitely going to come in handy for those days (like today) when I actually just miss writing long sections in one sitting. At the moment it’s all ‘change this word’ or ‘mix up this sentence’. Does anybody else find this bit quite hard? Oh well, at least I’m not reading it and hating everything I’ve written. That’s definitely an improvement on my previous efforts.

The good news is this: I’m 18% through editing the first draft of a complete story and I don’t hate it. Sometimes I think about the fact that it’s actually done and I want to slap myself. Is it bad that I want to start writing something new? No, I suppose that’s just writers intuition. For now, however, my attention is solely on Haunt and making sure it becomes a completely finished and polished piece of work. Who said you can’t have it all?

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6 comments on “From Tedium To Excitement And Back Again

  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Writing is indeed a lonely process and requires a lot, a lot, of A– to Chair time. Try to stay balanced, don’t give up. Here are two of my favorite tricks: (1) Print out your manuscript with two pages on one 8 1/2 size paper. Your printer should have “Layout” under its settings. Use thin lines around each “page” on the printout – again under “Layout.” Your manuscript will look like a book to your eyes and the flow between pages will become glaringly obvious. (2) Read it backwards. Start with the last paragraph & read it out loud. Then the next one above it, and so on. You’ll find your grammatical and spelling errors that way and the story will build backwards – this trick always helps me find what belongs where. And finally – this is not a tip, but a requirement – do the happy dance when you’re done with your revision. You deserve, in the least, that reward.

  2. Sounds like you are doing well. I found that when I began going over my work (before it was published), I ended up wanting to re-write every single paragraph that was written. I became quite flabbergasted, and started skipping sentences altogether, as I mentioned in a previous reply. Here’s what I did. I began a new book. I needed to get my mind off of the one that was ‘done’ so I could focus when I came back to it. Needless to say, that second book is sitting in limbo, because after 148 pages, I just wasn’t into it anymore.
    I like to write stories about Urban legends, and the second one was more of a Janet Evonavich type deal… NOTHING like an urban legend. My heart wasn’t feeling it, so THEN I went back to my first one. I found that I needed to add punctuation marks and things of that sort, but I decided that unless a sentence made absolutely no sense at all, I left it alone. But that’s just me.
    You are on your own journey to make your novel the best you can, and you will find your own way to do it.
    Stick to your guns, and don’t over think it like a lot of us first timers do. Congrats on getting this far, and I’ll be sure to be the first in line to buy it… just keep us posted when that time comes! I am thinking of starting a collection of First Time Novels. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s because I’d like to know what other people go through and compare it to my trials and tribulations.
    Well, now that I’ve written a novella on your blog, I’ll get back to my second Urban Legend, (I didn’t mention after I gave up the unfinished book and got my first one published, I started on a second legend.) and let you get back to your editing.
    Again, congrats to you!

    • Thank you for your tips, it’s always amazing to hear from other writers because they’re the only ones who understand the pains and processes you go through! It’s nice to know there’s a community out there to support one another.

      Thank you for reading! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. ‘attention span of an infant’, oh that really made me giggle, i feel the same way sometimes. i’ve only recently resurrected some of my short story-ish posts, before writing poetry obsessively, that’s all i wrote. and it’s in the constant rewrites, the laborius attention to grammar, which is among my many weaknesses that my attention span wanes.

    just thought i’d visit a bit to acknowlege and thank you for your follow of my blog, encouragement is always really appreciated. have a wonderful day!

    • Thank you for your kind words! It’s always nice to know there are like-minded people out there. It might sound dramatic but I think every now and then the life of an artist can feel a little lonely when you don’t know a lot of people who are going through the same processes.

      Thank you for reading! ๐Ÿ™‚

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