Welcome to my blog! Please join me as I journey towards finding an agent for my first young adult novel. Between writing, endless snapping of photos, sleep deprivation, taking care of two adorable little girls, and oh yes, the laundry, I'm sure it's going to be a bit crazy on the way to the awaited publication.

I'm open to any tips, critique, or random musings about the things I write or the photos I take, so feel free to email me or comment below.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Revise, Edit, Repeat

I've been mulling over how to stop revising my book and be happy with it. I've also been trying learn how to be an effective writer but most of the helpful tips aren't working for me, and you know what, I think I'm ok with that.

I've tried editing every chapter after I've written it, but then it stops my flow and I end up quitting after one chapter. Next, I tried writing until I felt finished for the day, usually after three or four chapters minimum, and then editing that. Then I found that it was taking me FOREVER to finish the book because I got so hung up on editing and perfecting what little I had written. So it seemed for a while I was stuck in the middle of my book, unable to progress the story.

So I just wrote the remainder of the whole thing to the very end, not allowing any breaks for revision and editing. Although, the whole time I had to threaten to break my fingers if they so much as clicked back to chapter one to re-read it and revise it again. 

I think it worked. I was able to finish my book fairly quickly after that since I didn't have to break the flow. Although once I finished the whole thing, it took me quite a while to get through 93,000 words to revise and edit it.

I'm pretty sure this is the 5th (ok 6th) time reading through the whole thing and tweaking it. Now I just have to trust in my writing and hope it's worthy.

It was pretty difficult getting to this place in my writing. I read blogs and writing sites galore and tried different writing techniques along the way. Most sites encourage writers to just write between 500 to 1000 words a day at least, no matter if you're in the mood for it or not. But I couldn't. I wrote more, usually 4000 to 6000 at a time. 

But then again, I didn't write every single day. When the writing flows, I can't stop until it's all out or I'll lose it.

I've tried writing on those days where I can't even get a coherent thought typed out. It takes forever and it feels like I'm wasting my time by just staring at the damn little cursor while it blinks at me. If by some small amount of luck I manage to write a chapter, I've found that it takes me twice as long to revise and edit it because it's crap. 

So instead of writing crap that I'll end up stressing over and eventually deleting two weeks later and feeling like a total failure, I don't write it. I wait until the good stuff comes to me. Some would say not to do this, but it works for me. 

So my advice to any new writers out there trying to find their writing style, I would tell them my favorite two tips:

1. Write when it comes naturally. If you can force out 500 words per day, awesome. If not, then just write out your character names and info about them to get your writing mojo going. If that still doesn't work, then stop because your going to write crap that you'll end up not being happy with later. (and trust me, stressing over the fact that it needs to be thrown out, but you just can't bring yourself to do it.)

2. Research, research, research. I
f you're like me and if you cannot write on a particular day to save your life, then at least do some research. Research the subject, settings, character traits, or anything else pertaining to your story. This helps me and I at least don't feel like I've wasted my writing time. 

Good Luck!

"There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein." - Red Smith

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