One Writer’s Journey

January 4, 2019

Writing Is Rewriting

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:56 am
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Yesterday Morgan Wright asked fellow writers on Twitter to show how we felt about your current WIP using a GIF.

There’s the initial enthusiasm — woo hoo!  This is the best idea ever.

And there’s the current reality – seriously?  Really?  Did I write this?  It is so lame.

And that, my writing friends, is why 90% of writing is in fact rewriting.  The idea, powered by enthusiasm, gets us started.

But that draft we get down on paper just is not as amazing as what we had in mind.  In fact, to get it even close, we need to take a hard look at what we’ve actually written.  Only then can we begin to take it from the let down we have created in reality to the amazing story we had in mind when started.

No manuscript is ever perfect the first time around.  Not one.  Although some of them are pretty amazing even in the first draft.  That said, these, in my experience, generally pretty short.  Because they are short, I can hold them in my mind from start to finish. I can manipulate them and make changes before I write anything down.

Otherwise?  What I think of is never quite what makes it onto the page.

And that’s okay.  When we rewrite, we have the time and space to fill in gaps.

This means that we have the time and space to fix our characters.  This might mean fleshing out a two-dimensional character.  Or it could be a matter of making an unsympathetic POV character a bit more likable.  Or we might have two secondary characters when only one of them is needed.

We also have the room to make our settings work.  For me, this means weeding out interesting details and replacing them with details that actually serve the story.  A hobby that comes into play later in the story might be hinted at by the items on a shelf.  A cold family life can be reflected by sterile, frigid decor.

Rewriting is also where I end up showing what my character is feeling vs saying “she was mad.”  Or varying the 397 times I showed this rage through aggressive lip chewing – something no one can sustain through a whole novel without doing themselves harm.

A lot of people get frustrated and give up when their first draft isn’t the sleek, star-bound story they imagined.  Unfortunately, giving up means that their story never really has a chance to take off.

–SueBE

December 17, 2008

Give Yourself the Joy of Giving

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 5:35 pm
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If funds are tight, especially at this time of year, it can be really hard to focus on your writing. Instead, you focus on what you don’t have. An abundance of cash.

If you can’t donate to the charities you usually give to this time of year, you might be able to share with someone who needs what you have.

Last month I cleaned five stacks of books out of my office closet and three out from under my desk. Two boxes of these books now fill the shelves in a teacher’s classroom. She lost her previous classroom library in Hurricane Katrina.

Don’t know someone with such an obvious need? You can find people in your community who need what you have through  Freecycle (www.freecycle.org). Link to a group in your area and begin receiving posts abut items that people need. You can also post your items that need new homes. We gave away a wading pool and four enormous railroad ties. My son gave away a large box of Bob the Builder toys. “Mom, you can’t find these in the stores anymore but the tv show is still on. This will make some kid really happy.”

Why not share some of what you do have? In return, you may find the perfect idea for a story.

–SueBE

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