I learned that I used the same word sixteen times in one short story. Curse those verbs!
November 16th, 2004, 04:55 AM
Many times I've discovered that a chapter that took a lot of effort and toil to write turns out to be rubbish, whereas while I was writing it it seemed good. :mad:
Still, at least I have a 'bad writing detector'. :)
November 16th, 2004, 07:14 AM
The first time you put pen to paper for a story, which most people call a "first draft" but what I like to call "muck", it is full of cliches and emotionless characters.
When I am revising, I tell my friends, "I am in the muck." A brutal experience which I never come out of in one piece.
November 16th, 2004, 03:46 PM
Things You Learn in Revision
I learned that I have a hard time correcting my own bad writing.
I think it has to do with rhythm. I write in certain natural rhythms of pacing and meter; some are good, some are bad. But if I come to one style and find that I don't like it in a certain piece I have to be very careful, or else the bad stuff starts to seem natural to me again and get right back in the bad rhythm.
I noticed it because every time I would do an edit I would start out correcting everything under the sun and after a few pages all the things that I had been correcting earlier started to seem normal and I found that I was barely changing a thing.
November 16th, 2004, 04:09 PM
I learn to read based upon my editor's perspective. That doesn't mean that I revise based upon her perspective, but I try to read from her point of view.
When I am correcting proofs or pre-pub galleys, I read for grammar and repetition and misspellings, not for the storyline. I find things all the time, like breath instead of breathe and apostrophes that should be after the s instead of before it, things I missed in my own writing, editing and re-reading.
November 16th, 2004, 04:34 PM
I seem to be re-learning Murphy's Law every time I go at it. Six times through the novel, at least, and still finding things that don't work, tell the wrong story, belong in somebody else's novel.....just like the typo I had to fix in this post.
November 16th, 2004, 05:41 PM
I seen this in one of my chapters.
November 17th, 2004, 10:38 AM
Writing a good story isn't that hard, it's the secret messages using the first letter of the first word, the second letter of the second word . . . and so on, that's REALLY hard.
Someone once told me that good writting isn't written, it's rewritten. It's funny how when I first write something I'm a genius, super author, and I should think about quitting my day job. When I come back to edit, I find out I'm an idiot. I find obvious sentence malfunctions, bland cliche' type descriptions and plot nuances which are simply not reasonable.
I know I'm getting close when I'm working on a rewrite and I get over the structure and plot and get to spend a majority of my time trying to find the right word or phrase.
November 18th, 2004, 07:09 PM
I had a teacher once that said 'Writing is a recurrsive process. If you think you got it right the first time, read it." Sage advice.
So I also learned that writing isn't done when you get to the end. Once you're at the end, you've only just begun. I TRY to do three edits on my work. I'll also pick common words and do counts on those words alone (like subzero said, look at all your he, she, it, they, etc.) I also noticed that my stories at times will take on a dronning rythm. he did this. she did that. they went there. bah bah bah. dull dull dull. Those are the sentences that I need to go back and combine, reword, delete, what ever.
I've learned through revision that 1) I don't get it right the first time 2) Sometimes my stories suck and 3) Writing isn't as easy as it at first seems. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication and practice.
November 19th, 2004, 06:45 PM
The best thing I learned about revision is not to do it during the first draft. I used to try to make everything perfect from the start and it absolutely killed my productivity. Now I just write and don't look back. It' s very liberating and also rewarding to finally reach page 200, 300, etc.