In the area of reading writing advice.

I feel I ought to blog, but only because you’re supposed to blog once a week on a regular basis. It doesn’t mean I’ve actually got anything to say.

I had a very nice day on Saturday, dancing at Ely Apple Day with the Riot. We were unusually together and danced with both vigour and accuracy. Usually we manage one or the other, but this time we were on top form and achieved both.

I’ve reached the stage with The Glass Floor (now 50-odd thousand words long and looking to be about 120k when it’s done) where my inner editor has kicked in and is nagging me to go back to the start and correct everything. I am instead making a list of notes for revision on the second draft, and pressing on. It haunts me to think that a lot of what I’ve done so far will need to be changed, but that’s better than my old process. (Which involved making dozens of revisions on the first five chapters and then abandoning the book unfinished.)

I read a book recently that claims you have to enjoy every part of your writing process, or it’s a sign that you’re writing something boring. This naturally has made me feel very anxious. (Everything makes me anxious.) But, given that I suffer from regular depression and don’t enjoy being myself, it would be very out of character for me to enjoy anything all the time. I don’t think I have the kind of wiring capable of such a thing. Given this fact, I take the knowledge that I don’t hate my writing to be the equivalent of the positive person’s ‘OMG, I love it!’

And speaking of writing advice and other people’s processes, I’ve decided to have a go with the whole right-brain mind map thing and do one for each of my main characters, as well as my own sweet spot map. I’m such a left brain person, I normally even do things like this in lists, and can’t help a mental sneer at the untidiness of the whole brainstorming squiggle thing. But that disdain probably just means that it would do me good if I tried.

Anyway, that reaches my limits of stuff I have to say today. If you’re looking for a rather more interesting blog post, you could try this one by Kay Berrisford on the subject of the forest in folklore:

http://lgbtfantasyfansandwriters.wordpress.com/2012/10/21/if-you-go-down-to-the-woods-today/


Comments (2)

Char NewcombOctober 23rd, 2012 at 2:19 am

… my inner editor has kicked in and is nagging me to go back to the start and correct everything. I am instead making a list of notes for revision… making dozens of revisions on the first five chapters and then abandoning the book unfinished.

It’s nice to hear that well-published authors have had this ‘problem’. I’ve managed to get past it by writing much more regularly and pushing through, even if it’s a crappy rough draft. I add comments on the manuscript itself if I think of something that will require changes, or if my crit group makes a suggestion. But I’ve been able to hold off on making the changes until I start on revisions.

…you have to enjoy every part of your writing process, or it’s a sign that you’re writing something boring.

Hm… I don’t enjoy it when I feel like I’m struggling to get the words right, when they seem to come excruciatingly slowly, even during revisions. I like the plot, the story progression, but struggle with narrative. Crit group keeps me honest. :)

Alex BeecroftOctober 23rd, 2012 at 5:03 pm

I’ve managed to get past it by writing much more regularly and pushing through, even if it’s a crappy rough draft.

That’s the way I deal with it too. I don’t know why it took me so long to realise that the only way I could ever successfully finish a novel was to just not stop writing until it was finished! It seems obvious now, but it’s made all the difference.

Then I print it out and go through it from start to finish making notes on what needs to be changed – where I’ve messed up the timeline, where I’ve mentioned the same thing three times and then had them all forget it until the fourth etc. There are generally so many of these I need a notebook to do it in, but it’s great to be able to cross them off when they’re dealt with and know that things are improving.

I certainly don’t enjoy writing all the time either, but then I don’t enjoy anything all the time, so it’s par for the course.

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