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Wannabe Writers #17

May 22, 2010

Wannabe Writers is a writing group for the un-published and anyone is welcome to join. It’s a place where future authors can ask questions, share stories, and get feedback. Click (here) to find more about how it works.

Where I am in the Writing Process: I’ve been working on the pre-writing parts of The Lemonites. My buddy, Regan, advised me to write scenes that may or may not show up in a book, so that’s exactly what I’ve done. I’m trying to further understand a crucial storyline that belongs to a side-character. In the process, I also found another character whom I love (her name’s Terrence, her nickname’s T-Rex, and she rules)! I’ve also written most of a synopsis. The end is a bit smudgy in my mind.

My mom is sitting next to me, trudging through The Boy in the Shed. This will be my first round of edits, and I’m already feeling worn out before doing anything! I’m afraid I’m going to come down with the editing blues.

My Current Problems: Let’s see:

Laziness.

Plotting:

Confusion regarding what to work on and when.

Apprehension.

I’ve been feeling kind of discouraged recently, although that might have to do with the fact that I’m incredibly tired today. (UPDATE: Pepsi, I love you and your caffeine.)

My most prominent issue is with the editing. I’m not sure how to go about it. Any tips?

The Question this Week: Do you recommend finishing (and polishing) a novel, even if you know the story would never be strong enough for publication?  To finish just for the sake of finishing or to focus your energies on a better project?

Boy, was this question meant for me? This is precisely what I’ve been talking about!

I do recommend finishing a novel.

That Boy in the Shed does not appear to be “strong enough for publication,” and I can’t easily imagine a way to give it the sufficient strength. However, I believe that the plotting, writing, and eventually the editing will be valuable experiences. The second book will be better simply because I know what’s needed and what the writing and polishing of a book entails.

At the same time, I am dividing my focus and working on another project. I don’t want to lag behind on my writing schedule, and I don’t want to lose the chance to work on the stories that seem more exciting to me at the moment.

So, as of now, I’m editing That Boy in the Shed (said too-weak novel), fiddling with/plotting The Lemonites, and preparing to plot Forbidden.

I suppose I’m a multitasker at heart.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 26, 2010 6:06 PM

    The question about finishing books that you know will never be strong enough for publication is a good one. The fact that you’re even willing to ask it shows that you are able to step back and look critically at your work, which is something so many writers struggle with their whole lives. We all want every idea to be “the one” and we try to force it to be sometimes. I have a virtual drawer full of manuscripts that will never be published and I had to walk away from each of them at some point. I really believe that finishing a draft is imperative, but also knowing when to take what you’ve learned and realize that what it’s taught you is what that manuscript’s job was, and not publication, is an extremely valuable tool too. I know that’s an awkward sentence, but I just woke up from a nap! Best I can do. Love your blog.

  2. May 25, 2010 3:46 PM

    Your ambition astounds me! And inspires too. I really want to go write now. 😀

    I edit as I go along, but after I finish, I go back and first sort through editorial issues, such as punctuation, grammar, clarity, etc. As I go along, I make notes about dropped plotlines and messy scenes. After I finish the technical stuff, I re-write the meat of the novel. It’s a bit of a clunky process, but it’s the best I’ve found for me so far.

  3. May 22, 2010 6:29 PM

    I generally edit/re-write as I go along, so I am no help in that area. But I agree that finishing a project is worth the experience. As for encouragement, this came to mind: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmyUkm2qlhA (hint: it’s from Finding Nemo)

  4. May 22, 2010 5:03 PM

    Having a practice novel of sorts is an excellent idea. I wish I’d done that. Too many of us start with an idea that we want to be perfect and are so disappointed when it’s not, but it’s wonderful that you’re taking this book and using it to get better. That’s the perfect thing to do. 🙂

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