Tag: Online Writing

Beginning a Rewrite

Image from wikimedia

Writing is rewriting – E.B. White

I guess E.B. White knew what he was talking about since every good writer owns The Elements of Style. Considering the first draft of my novel, I’m beginning to agree to the validity of that assertion.

In order to rewrite my manuscript into something remotely readable, I’m going to use the methodology given in Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell. Believe me, the young adult fantasy novel I just completed *happy dance* needs plenty of work.

According to Bell, the rewriting process has seven steps:

  1.   Let it cool
  2.   Get mentally prepared
  3.   Read it through
  4.   Brood over it
  5.  Write the 2nd draft
  6.  Refine
  7.  Polish

Because I’m serious about completing this process, I set a schedule. (Some who know me would say I’m organized or perhaps a control freak.) After I completed the novel, I waited a week, getting mentally prepared all the while. Now it’s on to Step 3.

First Read Through

Bell gives great ideas for making simple marks on the manuscript. He recommends just reading it and not stopping to make any additions or corrections. Use his marking system at this juncture, and when you get to step five, you can go crazy.

I started this on the scheduled date (Monday, July 29) and finished the next day. Disappointment flogged me. Where was the adrenaline? Excitement for my story migrated to somewhere south of where I sat.

This story was lame. It had several holes and so little description that I felt like no one could even remotely imagine the fantasy worlds I invented for this book.

Brood Over It

After sleeping on it, I pulled out my spiral notebook and made a plot diagram. Yeah, just like those your middle school language arts teacher made you draw and label. The story progression seemed to fit. I discovered where the plot holes were and plugged in events to fill them.

I think character arc will take more thought and planning. My main character has changed very little by the end of this story. Yes, that’s a major faux pas for any story. I need to evaluate what her real motives are and get a better picture of what she’s like and how this adventure is changing her to be the girl who helps take down the Big Boss Troublemaker in book three.

Writing the Second Draft

This is what I started on Monday, August 5. Yes, that was a full three weeks ahead of my original schedule. Rather than patting myself on the back, I’m planning to utilize that extra time to fill the plot holes, finagle an interesting character arc and rewrite something that will get my blood pumping.

After all, I want to be proud to claim this work as my own.

What are your thoughts on rewriting? Do you start over with a blank document or do you cut-and-paste?

Empty and Full

Silence. Unbroken now, as my nest returns to its empty state, the boys flown away to college once more.

I love the sound of silence. I am not one of those people whose mind functions at a higher capacity when there’s noise. In fact, I recall completing one of those crazy, forwarded questionnaires in the following way:

Q: What are you listening to right now?

A: The sound of silence

And I didn’t mean the song by Simon & Garfunkel. Although, I do appreciate the harmony in that song, I would just as soon listen to actual, God-ordained silence.

My home is empty, but my life is full.

I’ve got writing projects calling my name. I’ve obligated myself to post a weekly article on my church’s blog. I didn’t write anything over the holiday break (remember, I was taking an actual vacation from everything). I need to get ahead with my blog posts again.

My novel sits in cyberspace, awaiting the return of the woman who pours words into its very soul. In addition, I’ve got a play to write for my class this term. And I have not forgotten that I have some poems and a feature story that were ready to be sent out to publishers.

If only I had a secretary, she would get right on that [sigh].

My house may be empty, but my life is full.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What about you? What’s your favorite “sound”? What’s empty or full in your life right now?

Writing Resolutions

I’m so far from perfect…but this is cute!

Isn’t it ironic that my first post of 2013 to deal with writing and resolving to write more regularly should be posted a day late?

Saturday’s chores fell upon me. I delved into the syllabi for my next term in college (come back on Wednesday for more on this). The Shakespearean textbook alone was enough to strangle the will of the strongest, most valiant soldier. My oldest son returned to college – so there were goodbyes to be said.

Now that I’ve attempted to justify myself, I will ask that you don’t forgive such obvious excuses for the remainder of this year. I have some resolutions for 2013 and I intend to keep them.

I resolve to:

  • Finish my English Language and Literature degree. I know this seems like a “gimme” since I’m slated to graduate at the end of June, providing I complete the final six classes. I’ve struggled with the desire to throw in the towel on this one over the past several months because of the added stress in my life.
  • Maintain this blog at the biweekly posting pace. I think I’m going to add some book reviews into the mix and perhaps sprinkle it with more of my off topic writing on occasion. I would love to hear what you’d like to read about.
  • Get my weight back to where I feel healthy and maintain that as a “ceiling” weight instead of a “floor.” Do you see any numbers here? No. (Read: And don’t ask!) They’re written down, I promise, but in my mind I’m a 119-pound 25-year-old, so leave me to my fantasy.
  • Post once each week on my church’s blog. I’ve already started on this one. Since I am a follower of that blog, you can click on the name in the side bar to see my posts. Also, if you get emails when I post on this blog, you will be notified about my guest posts elsewhere.
  • Maintain my prayer journal. Let’s face it, I’m going to need plenty of divine assistance if I’m going to complete all these goals.
  • Finish writing the YA novel. Yeah, I’d print the title here, but the working title isn’t all that inspiring and I don’t want to turn any future readers off.
  • Submit a story for publication. I’m not counting the submission to the SNHU literary journal. I have plenty of other stories that only need a little polish and some marketing legwork to enter the fray of the publishing world.
  • Continue writing four hours  or 4,000 words per week. I will probably try the ROW80 challenge again, as well.

What resolutions do you have? Are writing resolutions harder to keep than others?