Friday, June 4, 2010

Not Working

As Michelle will be glad to know, I've been working on my urban fantasy project lately. I have tons of notes, potential plot points, conversations, and three chapters done.

Then, I went back and rewrote a section - I changed the voice, tone, the character's name, and her occupation. Go figure.

Then, I re-read what I'd already written. CRAP! With the change of voice for one character, things weren't gelling together. CRAP-CRAP-CRAPPITY-CRAP-CRAP!

So, I've spent this week tweaking the voice and trying to make things work.

I started the total rewrite of Chapter Three last night. Yes. I. Did.

Chapter Three was NOT WORKING (ta-da! the title of this post! clever, huh?).

Chapter Three is working much better with the revamp.

Luckily, I figured out things weren't working early on, so it's not like I have to go revise, revise, revise until I'm standing on the brink of insanity and about to teeter over the edge! Whew!

So, my question this fine Friday - hot and humid here, naturally curly haired people beware - is: how quick are you at discovering things aren't working in your writing?

Do you stop what you're doing and fix things, or just make notes to fix later? Does this moment of epiphany cause you joy or sorrow?

As for me, I knew it wasn't working and figured I'd fix it sooner rather than later. This whole project is new territory for me, so I'm taking a cautious approach right now. Perhaps I might be better off with a "buckle your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy ride" (ya gotta love Bette Davis) kind of approach. Who knows? All I know is it wasn't working, now it is, and the words are a-flowing (kind of like a storm is a-coming)! Ha!

Have a great weekend.

S

4 comments:

Amy Allgeyer Cook said...

I'm like you--I have to stop and fix things as I go. I know those NaNoWriMo folks are great at spitting out the whole thing and fixing it later, but that just doesn't work for me.

I'm so jealous of your hot and humid! We have cold and rainy. Yuck.

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Honestly, I squeeze my eyes shut and just race on through the book until I'm done. Then I fix things later. At least that's what I did with this last book and that worked like a charm...so far. I only had two people read it as I went - my husband and my non-writer friend who's a great cheerleader. That way I knew that anything MAJORLY huge would get noticed if I needed to stop and fix something before the whole book fell apart.

We all write differently, so I don't see it as a problem to fix things as you go. I did that with Monarch, but it took me longer to write it that way, I think.

Laurence MacNaughton, Author said...

I'm a big fan of planning out the major points in advance, then writing a really sparse first draft of the whole thing (more of an extended synopsis with dialogue), and getting it all done at once. Then, after coming back to it later, it's easy to spot and fix the problems, and write a new draft from that.

Cynthia Reese said...

Early on, I have to fix it. A bad chapter stops me in my tracks, because I know an early mistake or miscue can seriously get me off course.

Great going on fixing things!