Monday, August 1, 2011

Revising, dreaming, writing, revising...

I just did the edits on four chapters. I've done roughly half the edits on True and they are going at a good pace now. I think that is because I am just doing the edits as they are - not accepting every one but not struggling with the story as I put in commas and take out excess words. My plan is to finish this part and while I'm at it, in a separate compartment of my mind, I'm thinking of bigger issues. It gives me a chance to see the whole thing together, which is excellent, no matter how many times I have to do it! I still believe that the bigger revision won't involve much structure - it will be more an adding to and taking away as opposed to changing much of the order of things. I think the biggest problems are in the balancing of the characters. I need to deepen some and although, when I imagine that, it seems a huge job - in reality, I know it isn't. It will sometimes just come down to more telling details, ways to expose and shine a light on the aspects of the characters that I know but haven't adequately shown. So. There's that.
This process is a wild one. I think I have a grasp on what I'm doing, but really I don't. I just have to keep moving, trying, adding and subtracting and most of all - trying to be true to my vision.
How is it going with you all? How do you keep your spirits up - your energy directed, when the beach and sun is calling? Today is a holiday in Canada and I'm just about to take the step-dot to the beach, having done my writerly duty!
By the way - yesterday I went to the Shag Bay Incident Museum or the Alien Museum as it is known. Intrigued? You should be. I think I feel another Kitty MacDonald story arising.

8 comments:

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I know it makes more sense to make the big changes first, but I have to go through and fix the little issues first so I can see the story as a whole. Otherwise the little things just distract me.

The Time Sculptor's Secret said...

So interesting to see how other writers tackle it, Jan. Do we ever really finish editing? My novel is with my agent after more drafts than I care to remember, but even now if I look at a passage I'm itching to tweak it! The worse thing is seeing your words in print, when it's too late to change anything anymore! Jane Gray

Hart Johnson said...

Yeah, and I do... well I can't READ without fixing tiny issues, but I really make an effort to just make NOTES the first time, then try to fix from biggest to smallest, as the pickiest edit is AFTER the big stuff, I always have to re-sync the darned thing... stuff ends up in the wrong order, or I say the same thing three times. I am doing my BIG EDIT run right now--dropping two PoVs so I have to rewrite some scenes and figure out how to get other info IN there that the only remaining PoV didn't KNOW before.... I am half way through BIG PASS, and then will make SMALL pass, then finally will polish it... erm... in the next two weeks *is delusional*

GigglesandGuns said...

When the little stuff gets in the way I lose track of things. So, I gravitate from minor to major.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Alien Museum? Now I'm intrigued!

Jan Morrison said...

Diane - exactly and then I have to keep doing it that way until the whole thing is done. I think.

Jane - I haven't got there yet (in print) but I look forward to the agony! In plays (I've had several produced) you can tweak endlessly. You can never finish the damn thing...

Tartlette - oh man, I'm way past that note stage. I think this is about my ninth draft, really. Nothing is clear to me any more. Nothing.

Mary - and then back again. Yep...

Alex - google the 'Shag Harbour Incident of 1967'!

Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - I always go for the big changes first, too, when I revise. Then I go back and do the sentence-level stuff. Unless I see an obvious typo. Those bother me enough that I change them right away.

And I think it's so neat that you were inspired just by a visit to a museum. I love how open you are to letting your environment get your creative juices flowing :-).

Jan Morrison said...

Margot - Before I gave my manuscript for someone to edit - I had gone through what I thought were big changes. Again, they weren't so much structural (like the hell of the mysteries I'm working on!) but deepening and enriching various aspects. But now - I am working on the little stuff although I know I have big stuff to do. I just have to for some reason and I'm going with it. But I haven't stopped thinking about the big stuff. Oh, this is confusing but I think I'm all right or is it alright?