Monday, May 2, 2011

Coming up for air

Hi everyone!

Sorry it's been so long! Like I said in my last post, I've had a breakthrough and I can't stop writing!!! Honestly, I haven't been on this much of a kick since I finished my first draft of Penitence. It's times like these that really remind me why I love writing so much! It is so fun developing an interesting character or writing an exciting new scene! When I really get going, I don't even notice the time passing; if my wife didn't interrupt me and insist I take a break to get up and move around and, you know, eat and stuff, I would probably write myself into an early grave.

Now, believe it or not, I do have a point today. (And it's uncanny how many posts on revision I've read just this morning.) I know a lot of people, including myself, say you should try not to think about anything other than your story in your first draft, that you should just write and get your thoughts out and then go and revise later...but I can't help revising as I go.* There are somethings that are just wrong: so wrong that even I can't miss them (and I tend to be pretty blind when it comes to my own work—ask Shallee if you don't believe me).

For example, I was working on chapter 5 of my WIP (Dathan the Sorcerer), and I wasn't happy with it. I couldn't pin down the problem at first, but I knew there was something horribly wrong. So I read through it a few times, agonized, moped, and languished over the problem; then I raged, bellowed, shouted, screamed, and generally made my wife drop her jaw in horror until the problem finally decided to show itself. Incidentally, ever underestimate the power of angry words when trying to discover a problem in your writing: they can work wonders if you use them right!

What I discovered was that I had taken my POV character out of the scene. In othere words, in my haste to get everything written down, I'd done so from a third-person omniscient point of view. It was like I was standing in the room with the characters, recording what was happening, but not getting any of my POV character's take (his thoughts, emotions, reactions, etc.); and since he's mostly just an observer for the first part of the scene, it was like he wasn't even there.

I'm glad I caught this before I sent a draft off to my CPs. That would have really thrown them out of the story and probably killed their interest, even though they've all expressed interest in my idea thus far. So you see, friends, that some revision is necessary even while you're still working on a first draft!

For all you writers: what are you working on right now? Are you able to overlook a problem until the draft is finished?


  1. I edit as I go along, too. My alpha readers and critique group members deserve to read something legible. Not perfect, but legible. It makes for faster/tighter revisions later. Good post! :)

  2. It depends on the edit. Sometimes I just write notes for later revisions as I'm doing the draft, but if I suspect that a screw up will effect later scenes, then I go ahead and fix it right away. Sometimes if I'm stuck, I'll rewrite the scene before to make it more interesting and bring me back into the story.

  3. I edit while I write as well. It's just a habit. I couldn't do it any other way. Some people say they can't do that because they'd never finish a book, but I don't look at it that way. :) I like my chapters to be as good as they possibly can before I send them off to my crit partners. Then they can still rip it apart, but it won't be AS bad. LOL :)
    Congrats on your breakthrough! I love it when that happens!

  4. That's great that you caught the problem. I must admit that I edit too. It can be bad but also really good when you catch a major problem. Congrats on the writing breakthrough! I love when that happens.