WIP: Eight Update

Another week, more writing! Not sprinting, as I had to work on fixing my Mac. After I organised all my stuff for my writing, I felt I had to fix up my music setup as well. Formatting, reinstalling programs and updating has taken all weekend, but I now have a Mac that is running smooth and completely up to date. I’ve also ensured that all my music is ready to go for DJing, so there’s nothing left to do but practise, learn and start making my own mixes!

However, I have been working on some writing. Something that I finally accepted (through the convincing of Laney and Ellie) that I will have to rewrite my entire story (almost). I was under the impression that if I wrote it “properly” the first time, then I wouldn’t have to rewrite anything! Ah ha, the joke was on me.

While I was writing, I had in my head that I had to get it perfect the first time. This made it difficult, as I was trying to fit all the right words into the right spots. It was if I have a pile of jigsaw pieces laying in a chest by my feet and I have to fumble around finding the one that would fit.

ENOUGH!

I have resigned to the fact that I will have to rewrite the majority of what I will write and it feels like a weight has been lifted and my ability to develop the story is back on track. I have found that in each paragraph, I am able to pinpoint exactly what I am trying to do – advance plot, develop characters, explore the environment and so on. When I used to write as a kid, I had trouble finding the balance between too much and not enough “fill”. No, I’m not saying that I’m writing junk to fill the story, I’m talking about giving the reader enough to allow them to follow and become engrossed in the story, but not overpowering and boring them with the overuse of adjectives and suffocating them with extensive imagery. I think in my younger years I was all about “more is better” but as time goes on, I’ve shifted to the other end of the spectrum. I find that I’m worried about giving too much and driving the reader insane. I don’t want the reader to think, here we go again.

What I am thinking of doing is doing a mini “plan” for each section/paragraph/scene. Nothing overly detailed, just providing a direction of what I am trying to achieve in the section I am writing. I already have ideas for the different sections of the story – introduction, beginning, conflict, resolution, conclusion –but I want to make sure that each part of the story is adding to its advancement.

What do think of doing this – providing an outline for each chapter/paragraph to ensure it adds to the story?

Submeg

Writing, music, WIP, my writing

Posted by:submeg

Musician, Writer and Inspirer. I discuss the projects I am working on, the services I provide and my general thoughts.

5 replies on “WIP: Eight Update

  1. I do detailled scene-by-scene outlines, but only when I’m writing scripts. I find with sitcoms it’s essential, as otherwise the jokes take over and you end up with fifteen pages of gags but in which nothing happens, which is just as boring as fifteen pages of sitcom script in which there are no gags. I have tried it once with novel writing, but to be honest to get any kind of advanced planning out of my head is like trying to drag a shipwreck back to the surface using some fishing wire attached to my eyes. However, if it helps you then go for it; at the end of the day it’s probably worth giving it a shot and then seeing what happens. If it doesn’t work for you, at least you’ve tried it. Also nip the practice of thinking you have to get it perfect first draft in the bud now, otherwise you’ll only stress yourself out. First drafts are for getting the rough shape of the story onto the page. You’ll have to do drafts, but that’s all part of getting a good story. I like to think of the first draft as throwing a lump of clay onto a potter’s wheel – you’ll end up with something no doubt hideous, but it’s something you can then gradually shape into a perfected final piece.

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    1. I’ve found that just by putting a couple of notes in the margin, that it helps outline the purpose of the paragraph. When I come back and reread it, I can take an objective view of it and decided if it achieved what I was aiming for when I originally wrote it. I think it will also help in the review stage, so I can remember what the point was of the dialogue of some old guy on the subway rambling about how good scrambled eggs taste when you add extra pepper.

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  2. I wouldn’t call them rewrites really….drafts. I won’t even tell you how many I went through before I even enlisted Betas and then began revisions. Now I’m in final edits. Two years! Granted, I question everything to death. Book 2 will be a much faster process.

    I’m still a pantster at heart with very loose outlines. It’s just what works for me. But you see things at a different angle so if outlining everything feels right, go with it for now and see where it takes you. If it becomes too restrictive (which is my guess) then you can loosen things up a bit. I am a firm believer in freewriting. I think the best ideas come when they aren’t forced. I also believe the story should lead you. Too much outlining can trap you in. Although other authors will argue this point, we (you and I) write from vivid imaginations and tying them into outlines feels wrong to me. BUT….see what works for you. The more you write, the more you will figure out where to go.

    And I don’t think the perfect story exists. 😉

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    1. Yes, free thinking is awesome….I had another idea for a story (which is where this one spawned from) and I felt that it on it’s own would be fairly weak – the plot just didn’t have enough. Anyway, while driving in to work this morning I had a spark – I was able to link it in and it could easily become the prequel (if I was to write it). It explains things that I hadn’t even thought to explain!

      All I’m doing at the moment is writing down one word to describe what each paragraph is doing – e.g. if the paragraph is describing the environment the story is set in, I will write “Environ” so when I come back to edit it, I will remember what I was trying to achieve so I can smooth it out and use better word choices, structure, etc.

      So how many rewrites are there going to be? Ugg

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      1. Don’t you just love those sparks?! They are awesome. 😉

        Ah…that works for simplicity in your paragraphs. I see what you mean.

        Hahaha… I don’t know, Leigh. That depends on you. As many as it takes to get it right. My story feels like mine now. My voice is stronger, my ideas, etc… And although I know it isn’t perfect, it’s finally where it needs to be. I think when you get there, you’ll know it.

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