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Stewart
January 20th, 2003, 10:31 AM
Revising before I move on? I know generally revision is done after the work is complete but after rereading the section I'm having trouble with (the first six pages) I realize feel I'd rathe make this work better before I go anywhere so I won't be worrying about how I'm going to fix it while writing the rest of the thing. Any thoughts?

I, Brian
January 20th, 2003, 02:16 PM
It's always a good idea to do what you can for what you're on - but sometimes the block is too great and you just have to move on. Then, maybe a few days, weeks, or months later - whoomf! - the inspiration kicks in and you go back to write a beautiful section of prose!

choppy
January 20th, 2003, 05:40 PM
I don't think there's any clear cut rules for this.

A number of writers will tell you don't bother revising (at all) until you have the whole thing done. The reasoning behind it is to avoid getting so caught up in making the first part "perfect" that you stop writing the story.

Of course that being said, you have the potential to incorporate glarring inconsistencies in your story if you don't bother to change anything. If you're like me, you may leave a project for months at a time, come back to it, and have to do some reading to remember all the little details of the story. Without revising you could totally forget items that were changed.

I think that before you revise, you should think about your reasons for doing so. If it's a matter of correcting grammar, or ironing out the flow of dialogue, I wouldn't worry about it - that's the kind of thing that can be left for the second draft. If on the other hand it's essential that you change something to keep the story moving, then by all means go for it.

Bardos
January 21st, 2003, 04:12 AM
When I'm asked about editing, I generaly give this advice:

Write a chapter.

Edit the chapter.

Do it for every chapter in your book.

When you have finished, edit the whole book from the begining.

You're done (if it's ever possible to be done with editing, that is :) )

Cephus
January 21st, 2003, 02:20 PM
Originally posted by Stewart
Revising before I move on? I know generally revision is done after the work is complete but after rereading the section I'm having trouble with (the first six pages) I realize feel I'd rathe make this work better before I go anywhere so I won't be worrying about how I'm going to fix it while writing the rest of the thing. Any thoughts?

The usual advice is not to revise until you're done writing. Revising kills the creative flow and if you worry about making the first chapter or page perfect, you'll never get the rest of the story down. However, I do go back and revise occasionally, or at least go through and re-read what I've written and correct any errors or smooth out parts that I think don't work. I find that there are occasionally things I need to explain better or introduce earlier to make it less jarring. Other than that though, I do not revise until I'm done.

Stewart
January 21st, 2003, 08:52 PM
I agree, I hate going back and revising. But I looked at my first chapter and almost vomited (exaggerating perhaps a little). It read like the novelization of a bad teen movie. I knew if I wanted to even think of going on I had to salvage what few good elements I'd managed to write and give something at least remotely good so I could move onto the exciting parts.

milamber_reborn
January 22nd, 2003, 03:17 AM
I edit each chapter after I've written one, or every few pages with short stories. Then I do a second edit after I've finished it all. Then I get critiqued and make final changes. But I think the key is to really try to write well the first time round. BTW, I don't do drafts, I just polish the original.

Holbrook
January 22nd, 2003, 04:18 AM
Stories need time to grow just like anything else.

I tend to write, then think about it, then change, alter and continue. A chapter could take me a month to get into first draft (And Milamber, draft is a technical term. You mention you do three edits, therefore you have done at least three drafts.)

Sometimes I put out the first couple of chapters for critique, if I am unsure of where I am going. Sometimes I don't until I have it in what I consider my final draft....

It took me 12 months to get my last novel into the state where I thought it was ready for a publisher. One thing I have learned is don't rush it, thats when mistakes are made. And we all make them ;)

I, Brian
January 22nd, 2003, 07:35 AM
And even if you edit a chapter straight after writing, it's highly likely that you'll have to go back and re-write and re-edit it anyway. Leave worrying about polish until you've finished.

Cephus
January 22nd, 2003, 04:14 PM
Originally posted by Stewart
I agree, I hate going back and revising. But I looked at my first chapter and almost vomited (exaggerating perhaps a little). It read like the novelization of a bad teen movie. I knew if I wanted to even think of going on I had to salvage what few good elements I'd managed to write and give something at least remotely good so I could move onto the exciting parts.

Unfortunately, I've done that too and it cost me. I wrote a couple hundred pages of a story, then went back and re-read it and I hated it. I ended up re-writing the entire thing from the ground up and it cost me months of writing time that I should have spent completing the story.

Revision is something we all have to do, but it's best left until the end.