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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Back to Front - IWSG



It's IWSG time.  To read more posts supporting writers, go here.

I haven’t forgotten IWSG, but I came close this month.  There’s a good reason for it though.  This writer is writing!  I’m back in class, a novel-writing workshop through Grub Street again, and golly gosh…guess what we have to do for that?  We write.  Now there’s a novel idea. Ba-da-bing.

Yesterday I was scheduled to read up to five pages to my peers.  And here’s my quandary.  I’ve actually finished two drafts of this novel.  I’m working hard on the last third of draft three where I discovered a real twist to the story, but haven’t figured out how to resolve it.  But when I am reading this WIP to my class, I have to drop back to earlier bits of the book.  It is too hard for the readers to give objective criticism to page two hundred fifty, without knowing what happened on page sixty.   So I read from where they know and then leave at the end of the evening filled with ideas on how to fix those five pages, which is all good except that it's a complete distraction from what I’m trying to edit toward the end of the book. 

Small price to pay though, for actionable feedback that de-clutters those five pages and helps the story to sing.  Sometimes I feel like I’m writing forward and backward, and that the only way I’ll complete this thing is when I meet myself in the middle.  But still, I’m writing.  And conflicting.  And massaging.  And nuancing.   And so far I love this story to death.


For anyone who wants to self-educate, in class, we’re reading Between the Lines.  Master the subtle elements of fiction writing, by Jessica Page Morrell.  So far, there are lots of yellow highlights in my copy.

17 comments:

Yvonne Osborne said...

I would love to be back in a novel-writing class. Envy rising. And if you love your story, nothing else matters.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I was having a similar problem, except going forward and backwards with books in a series, instead of within a single manuscript. I had to proof-read Book 1, revise Book 2, and I was reaching an exciting and highly anticipated part in the first draft of Book 3.

I couldn't do telescope forward and backward like that. I had to put away Book 3, because it had the furthest due date. And then I found I couldn't even keep my head straight working with just the other two.

So I powered my way through the proof-reading so I could mail the galley back and devote myself entirely to revisions on #2.

Good luck with your back and forth approach!

Old Kitty said...

Yay for you!! Sounds like your writing is going brilliantly! Take care
x

Tonja Matney said...

I had to take a class on my writing class this semester. Good for you that you're writing. I think what you described is the challenge of writing novels and is why most people can't pull it off (or can't do it well).

I re-follow with my new persona. My new blog is http://tonjamatney.blogspot.com

Liz Blocker said...

Are you a Boston Grubbie? I went to the Muse conference last year for the first time and fell in love. Good for you for taking a class. It's been on my to-do list (uncrossed-off, sadly) all year. I really need to go sign up...

E.J. Wesley said...

Sounds like you're energized and ready to rock, Liza! My one, life "Get Out Of Jail Free" card is for writing. If someone tells me they forgot to shower--last month--because they were writing, I ask no more questions. Maybe hold my nose a bit, but no questions. :)

Keep us updated on how the class is working out, and glad to hear you're writing and excited about it!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Sounds like some great feedback. I wish I had taken more classes when I first started writing instead of learning everything a piece at a time.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Nothing wrong with editing all over the map if it ultimately makes the story better, right?

Chrys Fey said...

As long as you are writing you are golden! :)I'm envious, like others, that you're part of a novel-writing workshop. Editing is best done in stages anyway, so it's alright that the feedback you're getting is for the beginning even though you are much farther. Every piece of criticism you get will impact the whole story. Best wishes! :)

Robin said...

Before I forget, I tagged you in last Thursday's post. I see now why you missed it. YOU ARE WRITING.

I look forward to reading that post when you meet yourself in the middle;)

All kidding aside, it sounds like this is a wonderful group that is significantly improving your writing. Gotta love that!!!

Carole Anne Carr said...

Know how you feel, Liza, great that you are writing,even if at times a struggle.

Anne Gallagher said...

Good for you! I've done backwards and forwards editing a couple of times. Although I don't think at the same time. But hey, it sounds like you're really grooving with this story. Good for you. Still can't wait to read it.

Siv Ottem said...

You are lucky to be in a class with valuable feedback on your story. Once mine started taking form I found myself constantly going back and making changes. My critique partner helped me catch many lapses that are easy to make as the words grow and grow. I think that is normal. Good luck with your writing!

Carol Kilgore said...

Congratulations! You're learning lots of great stuff. And having fun doing it.

Sylvia Ney said...

New follower here. I'm so glad to meet a new writing friend. Congratulations on becoming more confident in your craft.

Sylvia
http://www.writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

It sounds like you're enjoying the heck out of your class, and getting a lot from it. But you know, it's only fitting that you should be working from both ends, and looking to meet yourself in the middle. After all, look at the name of your blog.

Happy weekend!

Arlee Bird said...

Taking a class can be a good way to hone the writing. A critique group can be helpful too if you can find one in your area. Keep at the writing!

Lee
Wrote By Rote