Home   |   LCS Prints Store   |   About Me   |   FAQ   

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

June and the Insecure Writer



This is my June contribution to Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers' Support Group.  (Click on the link to read posts from other participants.)

I am a little lost right now.  Honeydew Ever After is my second attempt at a novel.  It’s still a learning game, but this time, I dared send an early draft to a few patient readers, who gave me plenty of actionable feedback.  With their comments in mind, I deleted a ton of unnecessary backstory at the beginning, made the climax more plausible by changing a location, combined several chapters, and rewrote one in a different character’s point of view. I focused on my tendency to over describe and cut, cut, cut.  And, I fixed grammar and spelling and typos…which will forever be my weakness.

After many weeks of this, I finished, then started right in on (my new) Chapter One again, which I polished and refined, before forcing myself to stop.  I need to step away, but trust me.  I know I’m not done.  I’ve got to go through the story again and make sure the action flows, confirm the logic and check that timelines and events tie back correctly.  

But then what? I have it in my mind there’s a whole lot more work ahead of me, but I’m not sure what it is.

Any suggestions you care to leave will be gratefully considered.

14 comments:

Jan Morrison said...

Liza - oh, I know the feeling. I have been stumbling through the dark days of revision for over a year now. I finished my last polish a couple of months ago. Here is a book I HIGHLY recommend - jeez I wish I could go have tea with you and lend it to you but alas alack - it is The Artful Edit by Susan Bell - and it is so very helpful. I think one of the best things I could tell you is that you need to keep moving from the balcony to the floor as you revise. By that I mean you need to pay attention to the small details (word choice, slack verbs and passive voice) to the big picture - the themes, the voice. And all to keep out any bit of story which doesn't move your plot along. I hope you took a big breather - the longer the better between finishing and revising. A month is good - more is better. I would gladly tell you anything else - I'm so happy to be somewhat out of it for a bit, having started a brand-new novel - but on the whole, I never feel more like a REAL writer than when I'm revising! Good luck my dear pal.

Old Kitty said...

Gosh!!! I say send it off again to a trusted reader! Fresh eyes from a different perspective always helps me! Good luck and all the best!! Keep going, you can do this! Yay for you! Take care
x

Mama J said...

I tend to leave my work for a month or so. That way I can take a step back and go back to it with fresh eyes. Also, during my time away from the project, problems with characters/plot start to dawn on me and then I can try and work through them.

glnroz said...

suggestion? Just remember that you can do it,,and do it..Plus,, I want to preorder an autographed copy..:) glenn

glnroz said...

suggestion? Just remember that you can do it,,and do it..Plus,, I want to preorder an autographed copy..:) glenn

Johanna Garth said...

Revisions are so hard. They make us all want to rip our hair out. Just keep at it because the only way you'll get better is by continuing.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You mean like more beta readers, more revisions, and they querying? Wait, you probably didn't want to hear that.
It's worth it though!

Kittie Howard said...

Fresh eyes, fresh eyes, fresh eyes! I'm sending my baby off to three more friends this weekend. Each catches something. For me, tho, it's the print and read. It just doesn't read the same off the computer screen as it does on. You can do this. Hang in there!

Carol Kilgore said...

I'm certain we all have our own revision processes, just as we have our own ways of getting the words to the page. I begin with the big picture, making sure of story flow so everything is in the correct spot, and work down to the one thing I dislike about editing, word choices and finding the words I've unknowingly used over and over again.

Robin said...

Liza, I am feeling really stupid but I cannot find your actual contribution. Help!

jbchicoine said...

Liza, as many times as I've gone through revisions on my own work, each piece is unique and the revision process is a little different. I know it's wise to let something sit for a while and go back to it. I know that new eyes from a fresh perspective can be helpful. I've also learned that it pays to be judicious and unhurried in facilitating feedback. it's GOT TO make sense to YOU!

It is also very helpful to keep your objective in focus. Do you intend to pitch this story to the mass market? To find an agent and go the traditional route? Then you have to accept certain perimeters in which to fit your story.

At any rate, you need for it to be polished and objective eyes can provide that. But don't be unduly swayed by opinions (sometimes very strong opinions) of betas if it messes too much with the story YOU want to tell. (did I already say that, lol?)

Okay, yeah, I really have no idea--I'm still wallowing in revision limbo...I'm never sure how much to trust my own instincts or fall back on the opinions of others...at any rate, stick with it! It's what us writers do...

Juliann Wetz said...

Ugh. I hate revising. My brother loves it. He says that's when he feels like he's really getting into the meat of a story. But for me, once I've written it, I want it to be done. I know it's not, but I wish it were. I'd much rather start something new than go back and re-write what I've already written.

Good luck!

Nancy Thompson said...

Been there, done that. My advice is to take a huge step back and let it macerate for a while. Have a few more critique partners look it over, but one at a time, then revise after each one before sending it to the next one. There comes a point when you will know when to stop, when you've done everything you can. That's when it's time to submit and move on.

Arlee Bird said...

I think you are going at it in the right way. But after a point you will have to take the plunge and submit your work.


Lee
A Faraway View
An A to Z Co-host blog