The Coffee Shop - JUNE

The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress
trixie
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Re: The Coffee Shop - JUNE

Post by trixie » June 12th, 2012, 1:34 pm

Hello, coffee shop friends!

And welcome, Bev!

I headed to a retreat center Sunday w/my writing group and stayed the night. I worked hard on my story, but I don't feel like I have much to show for it, which is frustrating. Right now, I'm erasing my MC's friend from the beginning. He'll show up later, but pulling him out has been hard because there are conversations and scenes to re-write. I think it's the right decision, but I'm still feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work yet to do.

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dios4vida
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Re: The Coffee Shop - JUNE

Post by dios4vida » June 12th, 2012, 1:49 pm

trixie wrote:I worked hard on my story, but I don't feel like I have much to show for it, which is frustrating. Right now, I'm erasing my MC's friend from the beginning. He'll show up later, but pulling him out has been hard because there are conversations and scenes to re-write. I think it's the right decision, but I'm still feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work yet to do.
I so know what you mean, Trish! I've been doing edits on this stupid book for eons now, adding things, deleting things...I've had to do several character and cultural shifts along the way and it's been like pulling teeth. It really does make you feel like you slave for hours over your computer and end up with nothing to show for it by the end of the day. But way to go, doing the hard work because you know it's for the betterment of the story! <steals Sommer's pom poms> Go, Trish, go!

How about a round of sweet mocha goodness for my coffee shop friends? I think we can all use it by now. Anyone else thinking a triple shot of espresso might be a good idea? And a cookie? I so need a cookie. And a sprinkle of Muse dust, to help some of this work go by easier and faster. Anyone else up for some?
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

Sommer Leigh
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Re: The Coffee Shop - JUNE

Post by Sommer Leigh » June 12th, 2012, 1:59 pm

trixie wrote:Hello, coffee shop friends!

And welcome, Bev!

I headed to a retreat center Sunday w/my writing group and stayed the night. I worked hard on my story, but I don't feel like I have much to show for it, which is frustrating. Right now, I'm erasing my MC's friend from the beginning. He'll show up later, but pulling him out has been hard because there are conversations and scenes to re-write. I think it's the right decision, but I'm still feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work yet to do.
I KNOW HOW YOU ARE FEELING.

I just finished up a rewrite of removing Scarlet from the superhero novel. I'm pretty sure she'll show up somewhere else, but it required extensive rewrites of several chapters where she was the only other character in the chpater with one of my protags. I was about ten seconds away from burning the whole manuscript during the entire rewrite.
May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
Be nice, or I get out the Tesla cannon.

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dios4vida
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Re: The Coffee Shop - JUNE

Post by dios4vida » June 12th, 2012, 2:22 pm

Sommer Leigh wrote:I KNOW HOW YOU ARE FEELING.
It's nice to know I'm not the only one bashing my head against the keyboard and thinking "hasawehjwhngel" is better than what I had in the manuscript to begin with!
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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Re: The Coffee Shop - JUNE

Post by Mark.W.Carson » June 12th, 2012, 2:39 pm

Any of you on your 11th or 12th rewrite without finishing the thing yet? It's weird. I really have to push to get myself motivated, but when I am there, I can bang out a chapter in a sitting (anywhere from 3-12 pages). Sometimes, I can shift through 3 or 4 of them in a day.

Unfortunately, I have to sweep them at a later point for clarity, and I am doing all this knowing I have another major revision/rewrite on the horizon, maybe two.

How do authors write a book every four months? HOW?

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Re: The Coffee Shop - JUNE

Post by Sommer Leigh » June 12th, 2012, 3:03 pm

mark54g wrote:Any of you on your 11th or 12th rewrite without finishing the thing yet? It's weird. I really have to push to get myself motivated, but when I am there, I can bang out a chapter in a sitting (anywhere from 3-12 pages). Sometimes, I can shift through 3 or 4 of them in a day.

Unfortunately, I have to sweep them at a later point for clarity, and I am doing all this knowing I have another major revision/rewrite on the horizon, maybe two.

How do authors write a book every four months? HOW?

I think learning to finish is a writing skill that needs to be practiced like any other part of the writing process. It is very easy to get stuck in the rewrite process - I think when that happens there's something wrong with how you're going about writing your novel in the first place. Either you need a stronger outline before you begin, you need to stick to that outline more closely as you write, learn to listen to your gut as you're writing so you don't write something that won't work later on, or simply you need to learn to stop writing at some point and look at the manuscript honestly and ask yourself if it's worth rewriting or if you should start something new. At some point you need to stop rewriting and hand it off to beta readers and/or critique partners and let them guide you on your final rewrite(s).

But all of this is a learned, experimental process like anything else and the more manuscripts you write, the faster and better you get at it.
May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
Be nice, or I get out the Tesla cannon.

Mark.W.Carson
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Re: The Coffee Shop - JUNE

Post by Mark.W.Carson » June 12th, 2012, 3:10 pm

A lot of the rewrites are the result of having no direction and not understanding what the undertaking was about. I have since done a tremendous amount of research, and gotten better aligned with the craft aspect of writing, vs simply coming up with the "killer concept" approach.

Originally I had a lot of issues with where it was going. I knew where I wanted it to be, but not how to get there, and now that I have those skills, or at least they are emerging, I think I am better off. I'm at a year and couple of weeks from where I started, and at the time that I hit the anniversary, I was in a rewrite, but I switched perspectives three times, changed some characters, omitted some, added some, and now I think I know where I want to be, but I want to rewrite the scenes based on feedback I have gotten, and clarity of who the characters are, and what their unique voices are.

I doubt my second or third books will have anywhere near as many rewrites as this one. This was where my teeth were cut. After this, A year sounds plausible as a time frame to get this done, at least in an existing world. If I had to create a new world, I think that depending on how much I had to do, it might take longer.

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dios4vida
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Re: The Coffee Shop - JUNE

Post by dios4vida » June 12th, 2012, 4:08 pm

So I've been editing the second act of my book for the last two days. I need to chop about 5K from it. I got seven chapters done and was feeling really good about it. The writing's pretty solid, but I cleaned up some sections and thought I was cruising through.

Then I did a word count check. In those seven chapters, that were a good 4K longer than they should have been, I'd cut a grand total of...dun dun dun...

802.

:x ACK!! <grumble grumble frustrated sob grumble whine> THIS BOOK WILL BE THE DEATH OF ME!!

Thank you. Carry on. I'm gonna go get some cookies and a frappuccino and do some writerly sulking before diving back in.
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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wilderness
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Re: The Coffee Shop - JUNE

Post by wilderness » June 12th, 2012, 5:31 pm

dios4vida wrote: :x ACK!! <grumble grumble frustrated sob grumble whine> THIS BOOK WILL BE THE DEATH OF ME!!
Haha. I think that constantly! So close to the end...of this draft...

Claudie
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Re: The Coffee Shop - JUNE

Post by Claudie » June 13th, 2012, 12:07 am

Don't give up, guys! We'll all get through this alive. :)

And! I had a good day. Like, very good day. Whoot whoot. *dances*
"I do not think there is any thrill [...] like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success... Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything." -- Nikola Tesla

trixie
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Re: The Coffee Shop - JUNE

Post by trixie » June 13th, 2012, 10:59 am

Claudie wrote:And! I had a good day. Like, very good day. Whoot whoot. *dances*
Nice job, Claudie!

I parked myself at a restaurant last night and wrote a new scene. I felt good about it and was just hitting my stride when I knew I had to pack up and go home so I could get up on time for work this morning. Stupid need for sleep... Anyway, just as I was packing up, I realized that the doc I was working on didn't have my edits from earlier in the day.

Long story short-ish: I saved an earlier version on my jump and pulled up the even-earlier version from my hard drive. So last night's work was on doc A while yesterday's work from during the day was on Doc B. Crap.

Twitter (and Seabrooke!) to the rescue! I got home, reviewed/compared docs, and saved it all into Doc C. From now on, I will save it to my hard drive, then drag it over to my jump. Extra step, but easier than the chaos from last night.

But, when all said and done: 1033 new words. I'll take it!

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dios4vida
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Re: The Coffee Shop - JUNE

Post by dios4vida » June 13th, 2012, 1:25 pm

Ah, now this is more like it! Been working for a few hours and already down over 1,000 words. Yesterday just must not have been my day.

Thanks for listening to my rant, everyone. I'm not usually this melodramatic but I've never had this many problems with a novel before. It makes me feel like I've regressed in my writing skills or something.

Yay for the coffee shop. I think everyone deserves more caffeine-coffee-chocolate-yumminess. (And cookies, of course.)
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

Claudie
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Re: The Coffee Shop - JUNE

Post by Claudie » June 13th, 2012, 1:45 pm

Hey Brenda: Every time I feel like I regress in my skill, it's because I discover new tricks and skills to learn and am about to take a major step forward. Cheer up! It just means we're learning!
"I do not think there is any thrill [...] like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success... Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything." -- Nikola Tesla

trixie
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Re: The Coffee Shop - JUNE

Post by trixie » June 13th, 2012, 4:39 pm

Claudie wrote:It just means we're learning!
Claudie, I had this EXACT convo with myself last night as I drove home. I spent 2 hours at the restaurant but only wrote ~1033 new words. I was about to get down on myself about it but then I realized that the 1K words I wrote were good. Not polished literary genius or anything, but I put thought into the sentences and actions. It was a thoughtful way to approach a scene, as opposed to the mad chaos that is NaNo.

All in all, last night I felt like I was a legit writer. There I was, working on my craft, polishing my scene, making it all nice and neat. The extra 1k words were a bonus.

Yeah, I felt smart last night. Well, I did until I realized the word doc switcharoo.

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Re: The Coffee Shop - JUNE

Post by BevS » June 13th, 2012, 7:47 pm

Hey, Thanks for all of your warm welcome.

Regarding re-writes...I try to do one or two before giving it to my writing group or another trusted friend to read. Once I get feedback and recover a bit, I do some more re-writing. At some point though, I have learned I have to give up "perfection" and go with "good enough" before submission. The hardest part for me has been to let go of perfection. Anyone else have that "perfection script?" :)

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