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.


December 17, 2013

WIP: Choosing a New WIP

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:51 am
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edff0-take4I’d love to say that these last two weeks have been marvelously productive, and, I guess, in a sense they have.  I’ve gotten a lot of Christmas shopping done, decorated, worked on cards and cleaned at my father’s.  I’ve written blog posts and read up on a variety of topics.  While I’ve been doing this, I’ve also been noodling over my next BIG PROJECT.

The conclusion that I’ve come to is this — I’m not going to have a new BIG PROJECT for a while.  Instead, I’m going to work on a series of smaller projects.  Here are the reasons why:

Recently, I did something of an inventory on one file drawer.  I looked at what I had sold all rights for (one piece), what I had sold one time rights for and could sell again after a year, and what had never sold.  I have a lot of work sitting here not doing much.  I want to get some of that back out there.  This fits in very well with . . .

In January, I’m taking part in ReviMo2014.  This is a one week long endeavor to rewrite picture book manuscripts.  In light of this, I’ve been noodling over some projects and thinking about how I can improve them which leads me to . . .

I’ve been circulating a nonfiction picture book about animal coloration.  I wrote this for a particular editor who ended up passing on the project.  There are two spreads that I’ve never loved as much as the rest of the book.  She wanted them, so I added them, but I’ve never adored them.  I’m going to pull them and add two new spreads.  The new spreads will expand on information already in the book and add depth to the story.

No, I can’t count that last one as part of ReviMo if I do it before then, but I have plenty of other manuscripts in need of improvement if only I would take the time to do it.  This means that my next several WIP aren’t new projects so much as older pieces that need a new gloss before being sent out.

What you working on as the year draws to a close?



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