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Sucking Progress Update on My Sucking Stupid Novel

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Novel progress: editing pass over parts 1 and 2, and a total of 30 new words. Yes, 30.

Stupid Novel! Why will you not be done already? Do I need to bash my head against my monitor until the words come out (and no longer suck)? Wah!

I'm feeling:
morose morose
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On October 23rd, 2009 09:38 pm (UTC), marshallpayne1 commented:
Not that I'm an expert on novel-writing, but it's been said that with a novel (as opposed to shorter fiction) you can stand back and throw paint against the canvas from time to time. Eugie, your paint throwing is better than many writers' brush strokes I hope you know. ;-)
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On October 24th, 2009 02:37 am (UTC), gardenwaltz commented:
Hmmm... I believe the traditional approach is to open a vein, but your monitor-bashing technique shows promise.
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On October 25th, 2009 02:39 am (UTC), mouseferatu commented:
If I may ask... Why are you doing editing passes before the rough draft is finished?

I know that it's dangerous to listen to "conventional wisdom" when it comes to writing, since we all have different processes, but in this case, my experience is that conventional wisdom is absolutely correct. And that is, unless it's absolutely necessary to fix major problems that you've just become conscious of, you never go back and do editing on a novel until zero draft is complete.

So, just curious. :-)
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On October 26th, 2009 12:18 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
"Why are you doing editing passes before the rough draft is finished?"

Honestly, 'cause I haven't looked at this work in so long that I can't remember what I've done, what I still need to do, and where I left off.

I've got my notes and my outline, but I'm not writing this in chronological order, and I've skipped some scenes. I want to fill in those scenes now, but some of them are small bridge scenes that I just left "need character dev here" or "insert foreshadowing here" as a marker, and I can't for the life of me remember where they all are or what I intended with them without going over what I've put down to date. And I'm unable to turn off my internal editor when I'm reading over a draft.

Also, it's not uncommon for me when writing short stories to go over the previous page or two or to even do an editing pass of the whole thing before I start putting down new stuff to get me back into the cadence and mood of the piece. Although I'm finding that that strategy is less effective with a longer, novel-length work 'cause there's just so much more to pass through.

Still working out the kinks in the system...
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On October 26th, 2009 07:25 pm (UTC), mouseferatu replied:
but I'm not writing this in chronological order, and I've skipped some scenes.


*runs away screaming, with arms flailing wildly*

Again, we all have our own process, but I think I'd rather shave with a cheese-grater than write a book like that. ;-)

Now you've got me very curious... Why did you choose not to write it chronologically?
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On October 26th, 2009 07:52 pm (UTC), eugie replied:
*runs away screaming, with arms flailing wildly*"

Yeah, there is a certain "madness, MAAADNEESS!" aspect to non-chronological prose laying, and I usually don't do it. But it seems to work well for me when I'm working on longer projects.

It helps me to keep writing and not just uselessly spin my gears when I get stuck on a scene; I just skip to the next scene or chapter. And, very importantly, it also helps to keep my interest and motivation up. I figure if I'm bored writing a scene, folks will be bored reading it, so it's counterproductive to force my way through an excruciatingly tedious passage. But jumping to the next exciting scene will keep me putting words on the page, and often that scene will show me how to pick up the pace, tighten, or otherwise improve the torturous earlier scene to make it work.

On the other hand, it does tend to result in, on average, a greater amount of wordage that needs to be sacrificed to the editorial chopping block than writing chronologically, and I risk the situation I'm in now where I need to go through what's already down to figure out what's missing so I can add it in. But in general, when I've used this strategy, it's been a good trade-off for me.

Edited at 2009-10-26 07:52 pm (UTC)
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