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Friday, February 17, 2012

Writer's group

It is that time of the month. No, not that time, writer's group. I drove my hour and a half last night to get to the group. Since moving here, I have often thought I needed to find a group closer to me but I'm not willing to let this one go. Beyond the food and wine, which are usually pretty impressive, I value these people's opinions and  advice. There was a bit of a snafu with the food which comes when being hosted by a brilliant trauma surgeon who when she gets called in for surgery can't always make the time to cook. Imagine that. If you want to know her take on dinner was last night you can find it here . If  she hasn't posted yet, you'll still get something funny.

We hit on a lot of topics including man-scaping, erotica, anthologies,and valentine's day. The last being the topic of our writing exercise. We also talked about our current WIP and I posed the question. Is there an editing book that takes you step by step through the editing and revision process?

I have read The First Five Pages, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, and multiple treatise on plot and structure but still haven't really found a method that works for me. One suggestion was a book called Getting The Words Right which I plan to purchase, but anyone else have any suggestions? I find when I am looking at revising a novel, I get bogged down by all there is to do. In general, my plots are pretty strong but I need a framework in which to polish. Something that says step one-do this, step two-do this, and don't get distracted by step five while in process of doing step one or you will never get the first step done. Because, as you may have guessed, the latter is what normally happens. Then I get frustrated and eventually put it down in favor of writing something new. Which would be fine if I ever came back to it but that has not been my tendency. So, any book suggestions? Or are there any other ADD challenged writers out there that have found a system that works for them? Do you print it and put it in a binder? Do you do it all on computer? Do tell folks.

13 comments:

  1. I don't really have a system. Yes, I do print it out and go over it multiple times, making changes and fixing issues. Input into computer, print out, go over it again. Repeat until I begin putting things back the way they were in the rough draft!

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    1. Thanks Alex, I saw for screenwriting you mentioned Save the Cat, not that I have tried my hand at that yet.

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  2. If you do find a good manual let me know - as I struggle with the mind numbing minutia of that detail work myself. All that glorious adventure in writing it the first time disappears and I'm stuck with figuring out if I can leave in this instance of 'there was' or if I should cut it. Ugh.

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    1. found some suggestions http://fictiontoolbox.blogspot.com/2012/02/how-to-finish-or-revise-your-manuscript.html
      but it doesn't look like it activated.

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  3. I thought about writing one out, but what do I know? I've recently started in on a major revision (read: rewrite) of a story that I hadn't finished because it suddenly got much bigger. I'd been writing with a sort of nebulous bad guy, but then I realized who and what the bad guy was and why he was important.

    The whole idea just exploded in my mind. I'd been writing with only one half of the story, so I knew immediately that I needed to go back and start from scratch with the new and improved bad guy.

    So, I don't have any good method going. I know that if I hold off on starting I can sometimes get more of the book in the first go round, but sometimes, I just have to redo the whole thing. So yeah, no help here.

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    1. You have to know more than me. Just saying.

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  4. The problem with trying to follow someone else's guide to anything related to writing is that it just might not work for you. Even with editing, you really h ave to figure out what works for you and do that thing.

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    1. It's true you do have to find what works for you but I wouldn't mind a good step by step guide since nothing seems to be working well for me right now.

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  5. Revisions bog me down too. I've made a detailed outline to help me, but it still weighs heavily on me. I have my writers' group meeting tomorrow. We critique each other's short stories. No fun chats like your group!

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    1. We do both which is why the meeting lasts a very long time. Which I love. Hope your meeting went well.

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  6. I get really anal about revisions. I write down all the comments my betas give me on index cards; arrange the cards by macro or micro problems; then order by chapter; then revise. It's insane but it works for me.

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    1. It's an idea and I appreciate you sharing it. We need to be anal about revisions since that is where you are able to really set yourself apart. I am still working on cultivating that. I think somewhere deep inside I hope there is a perfect rough draft in my future. I realize on my sane days that is never going to happen but the hope is still there.

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  7. I go over it time and time again, send it off for others to give me feedback and then go over it some more. But I find I'm usually aware of what works and what doesn't so there isn't a whole lot of changes to be had.

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