When it comes to your own work just how brutal are you?
Are you able to view your work with detacted objectivity and a pair of shears? Or do you cling obsessively to every single word you've ever written?
I try to be objective, I left my last piece alone for six months after finishing the first draft (It sounds more impressive than it is, I was on another continent and so couldn't work on it) and came back fresh, I was able to see what (I thought) its strengths and weakness were and editted accordingly.
How do you guys cope with the prospect of discarding page after page in the hope of tightening your work?
March 13th, 2003, 09:45 AM
Luckily Joe, I don't have that problem. I know my current WIP sucks and I'm a good judge of things sucking. Fortunately I know that I can make it good with a bit of hard work and revision. Also, my main problem with it is not that it needs tightening. If anything, it needs loosening and expanding. Certainly, small parts will need corrective editing and tightening, but overall my first goal is to expand more on it and then I'll get to cut down. When that point comes I'll have no problem deleting any parts or shortening them. But then again, when I consider the fact that 90& of published material is over wordy and repetitive, what's the need?
March 13th, 2003, 11:51 AM
I started off not that great. It's a skill that you learn as you go along. Now, I have few qualms with slicing and dicing chunks of irrelevant material. However, I AM bad at seeing those until the story is done and only then after I come back to it some time later.
March 13th, 2003, 12:04 PM
I'm certainly brutal, as far as words are concerned! At the mo, I'm editing a novel and I'm bored of copying and pasting stuff. Aaaarghhh!! --editing is a fu#$%* stinking work... but someones got to do it. Guess who that "someone" is... :rolleyes:
What I rarely change is the plot and the scenes, except if there is a huge mistake there. (Once, I had forgotten a character in some --ahem, many-- scenes and I had to ADD her in all of them!) I try to make the story good the first time around.
March 13th, 2003, 03:22 PM
Guilty of being brutally analytical about mine and everyone else's work - I once canned a piece that was 127 pages long because I couldn't do the idea justice, I guess thats the damning thing when it comes to writing and you can't recreate the images from your head onto the paper = its true that the best novels of all time have never been written :rolleyes:
March 13th, 2003, 04:54 PM
Oh my. I cling quite hard to every sentence that I write. I feel its a tragedy if I write a paragraph and it is deleted by mistake... I feel that my first thougts are always the best.
Of course, this is after I check it for grammar, typos, word choice, sentence structure, etc.
March 13th, 2003, 05:02 PM
I don't think I'm brutal enough, but I know that to get a good critique of your work, you must have others who you don't know review it. Only then can you get an honest opinion. I've found out that it helps quite a bit. But then again, if you can't impress the editors when it's time to sumbit, then it all comes to naught. ^_^;;
March 13th, 2003, 05:06 PM
Brutal with my own stuff... a bit less so with others. I have a job in which sensitivity around 'performance' is just not compatible with survival. So, my writing just sort of follow suit. I take part in a writers group where we hack each others stuff weekly, and freely share my writing with whoever wants to read it. I always write because I have a story to tell. Learned early on that not everyone appreciates the story...
If you are serious about writing, and trying to improve, you have to be brutal, and have thick skin.
March 13th, 2003, 11:56 PM
Whilst I'm my number one fan, I readily invite people to honestly critique my work. Even if you think you are good you can be a lot better. There's no limit on how good you write. You just have to use every resource available to improve. I tend to refine my work rather than brutalise it. I leave that to other people.
March 14th, 2003, 09:29 AM
I found out that the best way for me to be my own sharpest pair of shears is, after finishing the writing, leave the work for 2 to 3 weeks.
By then, your enthusiasm for the work has tapered off slightly, which means you become the best pair of shear as you are now reading it not as the author, but as the reader. If you dislike your work, so will your reader.