Archive for March, 2008

Rewrites

March 21, 2008

Rewrites are tough. I’ve probably said that before but it was more than a year ago so who remembers.

I’m back to working on the book that I did the exert from last year. Body Language. I’m determined to finish reworking it so I can start sending it out. Again. But better. I hope. No I know it is better. I have learned a lot since I finished the manuscript two years ago.

It’s been hard going getting back into the swing of writing. It is so much easier to lose myself in someone else’s published book. And once I lose myself, it is hard to find that trail of bread crumbs. So I’m trying to limit myself to reading in the evenings before I go to sleep.

I’ve started keeping track of how many words a day I am writing because I’m going to be taking part in a writing challenge come April. I’ve been frustrated because it’s been coming slow. I had planned to set a goal of 1670 words a day. Backed it down to 1000 so I could achieve it and found it a struggle to get 500.

Yesterday, I had my critique group then the kids dentist appointment and struggled to get in a few hundred words. I was close to the end of the chapter I was revising but just couldn’t manage to complete it. Finally turned off the computer in disgust at 10 pm.

Today, I wrote. Deleted. Wrote. Walked around the house. Wrote. Read it aloud. Deleted. Fed the cats. The lizard. The dogs. Wrote.

You get the picture. This afternoon I finally finished the chapter. I celebrated with chocolate peanut butter ice cream. Then I started on the next chapter.

Now this chapter is being totally changed from the original. My book has three parts. The first begins in the heroine’s point of view for the first chapter, switches to the hero’s for the next four and in the other rewrites I had the last chapter in this section in the hero’s POV. (The first draft of the book was in a zillion POV’s because I head hopped all over creation. Didn’t even know what head hopping was at that point.) I decided to switch back to the heroine’s POV for this chapter. Why? Symmetry and because she needs to be heard, to become more three dimentional.

I’m over 700 words into this chapter and am really excited about the way it is going.

That’s right over 700 words. Total today (saved words, all the deleted ones don’t count) 1671 words. I couldn’t believe it when I added it up.

Tomorrow may be a bust. I may struggle to do 200 words. I have to pack for the beach, clean at least a layer of dust off the house, run errands and drive down to the beach when the kids get out of school. That’s okay because I am going to put in at least two solid hours of writing before I start all the other stuff and maybe once we’re settled tomorrow night I can do some more.

Doesn’t matter. I have a goal and I’m working towards it.

I’d happy dance but I’m too tired.

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My Voice

March 18, 2008

AHHHchoooo. waves hand in air My goodness, I didn’t realize how dusty this place would get when I left it for almost a year. Well, I’m back now and as soon as I clean up I’ll post. Long pause.

On second thought, I hate to clean so instead I’m hanging a few packages of dust masks on the hook by the door. Yes that’s the one. If you’d like to visit, just pop one on and pull up a chair. Um, no not that one. The leg’s broken. I guess I need to do more than dust. Later.

Since I was here last, I was invited to join a local critique group. Each time we meet, we read a chapter of our WIP then get feedback. All 5 of us have vastly different styles which actually makes the feedback more helpful. But it is also a learning experience. I’m not very comfortable giving the feedback to others. First, I know how hard it is to write. Second, we all have different styles and distinct voices. It’s important to not try and rewrite their words into my voice. So I am taking babysteps with the feedback. Listen. Say what I like about the chapter. Identify any spot where I’m confused about what is going on. Listen to the other feedback. That is as helpful as hearing feedback on my own writing.

I’ve heard that critique groups can be nasty. Mine isn’t. They are constructive and knowlegable. They have been writing much longer than I have. And they love my voice.

Wow.

When I first started learning about craft, that was my biggest fear. What the hell is a voice, I asked myself and what if I don’t have one. Then I learned that anyone who writes anything subjective has a voice–a style and personality to their writing. I began looking for and identifying the things in books I loved–or hated, the things that made up the author’s unique style. But still there is the fear. That is why it is so important to risk others reading your precious creation. It’s hard. You risk rejection. But having someone say they loved what you have written; having them encourage you to keep writing, to fix the rough spots or toss out the excess weight but to keep on writing. It’s like winning an Academy award. It’s like the moment when you hold your brand new baby in your arms and feel the love expanding your chest until you think you will surely explode.

So thank you. You know who you are. You who told me I had a gift for storytelling and to finish the damn book. You who came before the critique group. All of you keep me hoping. Keep me writing. Thank you.

Damn dust. It’s making my eyes water.