Friday, March 9, 2012

Tackling the beast

I need to know!  What's your process?

Because I'm back at it.  Yes, I am working on the beast again.  My first novel that I went through like 15 times.  But it just won't die.

I'm going for a complete rewrite this time.
Instead of just rushing through the draft and having to do a million edits, I thought, maybe I should take a look at my process.

So I'm trying to write little by little and I'm sending it to my crit partners (thanks guys!) and edit as I go.  It's really interesting to do it this way, because I'm putting a lot more stock into what I write the first (or second or third) time before I move on to the next section.

And after some thoughts and critiques... I realized I need to delete a character and re-think the plot, again.  I'm only 3 chapters into this thing, so there's not a ton to change--compared to all those times I've gone through the whole thing and then realized I needed to axe someone--but this time, I can see the point of rushing through because it's throwing my momentum.  I feel like 'Crap, now I gotta start all over!' and that's such a bummer, because I actually invested more thought/time into those first chapters.  

I guess I'm still discovering what my style/writing process is, I'm not sure yet.  I'm going to continue the slow way for as long as I can, but (I predict) the nearer to the end I get, more I'm going to want to rush it.

So what do you do?

Do you edit as you go or do you write a-la-nanowrimo....?


  1. I have to let myself have a mix of the two. How's that for a non-answer? Haha. One thing I've learned about myself is that if I decide to be deliberate, I will be TOO deliberate. Perfectionist. On the flip side, if I decide to speed along, a-la NaNo, it will be a complete mess. Like you, I love having crit partners to help as I go (hey hey!). That way, I can purge onto the page, but still reign myself in before moving on. We'll see how effective this really is in the coming weeks, but it sounds good right now. :)

  2. Oh, man. That's got to be rough . . . Editing and rewriting are such a vulnerable stage for a story.

    I definitely edit as I go. I keep up my momentum by limiting who gets to read my work as it's being written (only one person: my partner, who knows how not to damage my self esteem when offering advice). Every few chapters I check in with my other friends.

    But I also let them know what kind of feedback I need and when: at the beginning of a story, something too critical could kill my creative spark, so I just ask for what people liked and what they hope to see happen as the story unfolds.

    To be honest, the way I judge whether a scene is worthy or not is by how excited my parter gets when she reads it; if she says, "Wow this is so exciting write more right now!" then I'm satisfied. Anything else, even just a "Yeah, it was good," and I cut the scene and start over.

    This is helpful because the things that make the cut are usually exciting for me, too, so it's not hard to keep up my motivation/momentum. ^__^

  3. This time I'm trying to just power through. I've already thought of some changes I want to make to the first few chapters, but they're small so I'm letting them be for now, just making notes to myself as I go.