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  1. #16
    Chocoholic ShellyS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laer Carroll View Post
    Though I do wonder, "How's that working out for you?" Do you have some stories or books out there as an indication this process works? In this special circumstance, with all readers of this forum clamoring for an answer to this question, you could toot your horn in this forum and get away with it.
    I meant to answer this and forgot. I have a 110,000 word ms I've been revising. It's been beta read by a half dozen people and I'm using their comments to see how I can improve it prior to polishing and submitting to publishers. I've been working on it for a number of years because I can't write every day. I have my reasons and they aren't relevant. I then needed to wait for the beta readers to finish and I would've gotten the book done last year except I spent 8 months recovering from a nasty bacterial infection that sapped all my energy. Now, I'm back at it, so I hope to have it done by May or June.

    Will it get sold? Who knows? But it's a story 6 people have liked, overall, and I'm very proud of it.

    BTW, I wrote and published fanfic for 15 years (10 volumes of one zine and 10 of another), then wrote and published original spy fiction (written interactively with friends) for the next dozen years and counting (thousands of pages). Those stories are a bit indulgent with plenty of gratuitous sex and gratuitous violence. The stories are published under my legal name (zine style photocopies) and I don't use my legal name in online forums other than Facebook. It's a privacy thing.

    Also, I lost 10 years in my attempts to go pro, back in the late-'80s to early-'90s because of bad advice I stupidly tried to follow that ended up discouraging me because I couldn't write the "right" way. I've mentioned this in earlier posts and it's why I get adamant about the 9 and 60 ways of writing.

  2. #17
    Chocoholic ShellyS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KatG View Post
    What works about Shelly's process is that she moves on as and after she revises. But it's unusual and a lot of other writers don't do well with rolling revision because that Editor Hat gets stuck and kicks off the Writer Hat.
    I've thought about this a lot because I know that so many people can't do it and the Inner Weasel gets the better of them. I think the reason it works so well for me is because I am instinctual for both writing and revising and the writing part of my brain keeps shoving the editing part aside with "enough with that, I've got more to tell her." My characters are so alive, they keep talking to me, usually at night in bed, or in the shower, or while I'm commuting to and from work and I can't wait to start writing the next scene, at which point, the editor part engages, too. Next scene, it all starts over again.

    Bottom line, having something I feel compelled to write keeps me from getting stuck with that editor hat on.

  3. #18
    Master Obfuscator Dawnstorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShellyS View Post
    Criticism for me is part of Creation. I revise as I write. I can type a word, know as soon as it's typed that it's the wrong word, backspace it out of existence and try another word before typing the next word.

    I do revise again after I write, when the story's finished, so yes, sometimes revising is separate from writing, but writing is not separate from revising/editing. I'm a rolling reviser, as someone once labeled me. I've rewritten parts of sentences 2-3 times as I write them. The wording has to be right for that moment before I can move on.
    That's pretty much me, too. I'm a very slow writer because of that. I've seen manuscripts that had:

    text text text [description in square brackets] text text text [alternative1/alternative2] text text....

    That would be my ideal process if it wouldn't bug some aesthetic faculty within me to distraction. I need my text to look neat.

  4. #19
    Chocoholic ShellyS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
    That's pretty much me, too. I'm a very slow writer because of that. I've seen manuscripts that had:

    text text text [description in square brackets] text text text [alternative1/alternative2] text text....

    That would be my ideal process if it wouldn't bug some aesthetic faculty within me to distraction. I need my text to look neat.
    I'm fairly slow, but that's because I don't write every day. I need large chunks of time because I need to reread/revise the previous day's writing, then I start composing and I like to get into a groove where I can go for hours on end. I've done 8 or 9 hours at a time, but I can't do that nights after work. So I binge write.

    I've gotten fairly fast with the edit as I go. Some scenes take more time than others. Some get layered, where I do a quick draft of mostly dialogue because I can hear it in my head and need to get it down fast, then I go right back and layer in descriptions, etc. Other scenes get the whole thing written at once: dialogue, descriptions, action, etc. Every scene has its own requirements.

    I could never leave placeholders, at least not for more than it would take me to look up the word or detail I need. I'll stop writing to look something up.

  5. #20
    Master Obfuscator Dawnstorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShellyS View Post
    I'm fairly slow, but that's because I don't write every day. I need large chunks of time because I need to reread/revise the previous day's writing, then I start composing and I like to get into a groove where I can go for hours on end. I've done 8 or 9 hours at a time, but I can't do that nights after work. So I binge write.
    I was thinking words-per-minute slow, rather than project slow. I take that from online comments. People say they write for twenty minutes a time. If I did that, I'd have about two to three paragraphs (on a good day). I need to a write a scene in one go, and I won't start writing if I don't at least have a guaranteed 2 hours. (I once got interrupted by a telephone call; had to scrap the scene and start from scratch as I'd lost the thread.)

    I make up for project speed by needing less editing than others. (Again, judging by online-comments.) That is for short fiction, though. I'm on my first novel, and that requires a lot of editing. Mostly because the thing is so darn complex.

    I've gotten fairly fast with the edit as I go. Some scenes take more time than others. Some get layered, where I do a quick draft of mostly dialogue because I can hear it in my head and need to get it down fast, then I go right back and layer in descriptions, etc. Other scenes get the whole thing written at once: dialogue, descriptions, action, etc. Every scene has its own requirements.
    Things like description/setting I do leave for edits, especially for longer works (longer short stories, the novel). That's because the setting emerges through writing. Later scenes always tend to be more specific, and thus if I go back after I finished it all, I have a better intuitive idea.

    I can never hear things in my head. I have to formulate it consciously in my head, and I usually go through alternatives, either before I write it down (in tricky situations), or while type-deleting (usualy approach).

    Similarly, I don't see things in my mind, unless I make a conscious effort of visualising them, but that's a non-verbal situation - which means I'm not to good writing, then.

    Dialogue comes easiest. That's why some of my early drafts read almost like plays.

    I could never leave placeholders, at least not for more than it would take me to look up the word or detail I need. I'll stop writing to look something up.
    Neither could I. I like the concept, and I'd like to be able to do that, but it doesn't work. I, too, interrupt writing, sometimes to look up a word, sometimes to look at related pictures, or to figure out some fact-relationships. That's because I know best what sort of information I need while I'm writing.

  6. #21
    Chocoholic ShellyS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
    I was thinking words-per-minute slow, rather than project slow. I take that from online comments. People say they write for twenty minutes a time. If I did that, I'd have about two to three paragraphs (on a good day). I need to a write a scene in one go, and I won't start writing if I don't at least have a guaranteed 2 hours. (I once got interrupted by a telephone call; had to scrap the scene and start from scratch as I'd lost the thread.)
    I used to be a very slow typist, so it would take me a long time to write. It was hard because I couldn't keep up with my thoughts. I'm a faster typist now and it still can be a problem. So when my thoughts are faster than I can type, that's one of the times I end up layering more. And the older I get, the sloppier I get as a typist, and that's slowing me down a bit.

    I make up for project speed by needing less editing than others. (Again, judging by online-comments.) That is for short fiction, though. I'm on my first novel, and that requires a lot of editing. Mostly because the thing is so darn complex.
    I believe that every project has its own rhythms, its own process. I think my revise as I go means I need less editing later, too, and because I continually go back to the beginning during a project, the earlier scenes are really polished by the time I finish writing the last scene, generally.

    Things like description/setting I do leave for edits, especially for longer works (longer short stories, the novel). That's because the setting emerges through writing. Later scenes always tend to be more specific, and thus if I go back after I finished it all, I have a better intuitive idea.
    Interesting. I do create some of the setting as I write, because the scene might require some detail I hadn't thought of ahead of time, but it sounds like you do this more than I do. I think my characters do more emerging than the scenes, though.

    I can never hear things in my head. I have to formulate it consciously in my head, and I usually go through alternatives, either before I write it down (in tricky situations), or while type-deleting (usualy approach).
    I believe one reason I hear things in my head is because I wrote fanfic for so long. I could hear the actors voices/speech patterns. If I couldn't, then I couldn't write fic for a given show. And for my original writing, I "cast" actors I like, often as they played certain characters, so I could have those rhythms in my head while writing.

    Similarly, I don't see things in my mind, unless I make a conscious effort of visualising them, but that's a non-verbal situation - which means I'm not to good writing, then.
    I don't visualize in general. My descriptions are purely the words I choose. I often try to have photos (another reason I cast actors as my characters, so I have a reference for descriptions).

    Dialogue comes easiest. That's why some of my early drafts read almost like plays.
    Some of my scenes are like that. Dialogue is probably easiest for me, too, but usually, much of the rest comes with it, kind of like being pulled by the tide.

    Neither could I. I like the concept, and I'd like to be able to do that, but it doesn't work. I, too, interrupt writing, sometimes to look up a word, sometimes to look at related pictures, or to figure out some fact-relationships. That's because I know best what sort of information I need while I'm writing.
    That's exactly how it is for me. Someone I was friends with once upon a time used to leave placeholders, with notes, and move on. If she tried to do the research then or figure out the right word then, she lost her train of thought or got bogged down and never finished the scene. But when I'm writing, each word leads to the next and I need all the words to be there.

    Plus, if I wait, things will be different when I go back and it's likely that the placeholder will no longer be relevant or I'll have forgotten what I'd had in mind, and I'll have to rewrite the whole scene.

  7. #22
    Lost in Devaland venustar's Avatar
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    Moon,

    You have no idea how much I needed that kind of reminder today.

    Thank you!

  8. #23
    Fulgurous Moderator KatG's Avatar
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    I'm a very fast typist, but I'm slow words per minute for fiction writing too. I need chunks of time to write and preferably not be interrupted at it, not just little bits (which are much easier for board postings,) and that's one of the things that has been a real obstacle for me. But I do think that trying to write when you can, practicing as much as you can, then does make you better at those things -- you get faster, you get less distractable, etc., and you also get better at not letting your Editor Hat get in the way but instead work with you.

  9. #24
    aurea plectro goldhawk's Avatar
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    I'm a reasonably fast typist but I write in splurges. I will write a scene or dialogue, think about what's next, write it, think, write, think, write.... Different strokes for different folks.

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