Feb 20, 2010

Wannabe Writers #4

Wannabe Writers is a group for all of you out there who are un-published like me. I often find myself searching the web for information during my struggles as a new writer. So I wanted to start a place where us future young-adult authors can come together to ask those questions, share our stories, and get feedback. Here's how it works: (click here)

Where I am in the writing process: Working on my 2nd ever manuscript (but it's really just a complete re-write of the first, same characters, different setting and plot) And now I want to start a third with the same characters and setting but a slightly new plot. I'll never finish this!

My Current Problem(s): I am constantly editing and re-editing. It slows me down. I've been working on the same story for an average of 2 hours per day for the last 6 months. I just want to finish and I know I could if I could just stop editing. And now I'm antsy to start over.

My Question This Week: Is editing as you go a bad thing? The day ends and many times I have less words than when I started. How do I stay focused on the end of my story?

14 comments:

Noelle Nolan said...

Sarah,

I'm right there with you in the editing department. I started a MS, after writing 11 pages, I went back and spend a day or two editing then lost all track of where I was going. I've tried to figure out ways to NOT do that. Yesterday I started writing (handwriting) into a note book. Creating my characters, plot, setting, etc. I got 12 pages done in about 3 hours and not editing. A lot of scribbling, not no backspacing and rewriting. I also use my index cards.

I actually have 3 novels now In The Works, but I'm finally focused on one in particular - the one I put in my notebook.

I wish you best of luck. I too find myself searching the internet (and amazon for books) about writing and finishing a novel. I've found quite a few so far.

Swimmer said...

I would use J. Kays tip and use post it note or index cards. Right now I am just want to crank out my MS before I forget or lose my inspiration. My plan is to just get it done then edit for grammer, then acually edit the writing which will be the hardest part.

It is hard to figure out because everyone does it different.

Good Luck

robby (once upon a book blog/fourteen years) said...

I'm probably just going to say what everyone else said, but in different words.
Just keep writing and writing. Keep track of things you've been thinking about, either in a notebook or on Post-it notes.
Maybe it's a series?
Either way, good luck! :]

Crystal Cook said...

That is the same problem I have been having! I started so many and then just didn't finish them because I would change so many things. This time I am just sticking with it, and trying to write it really fast. That seems to be helping me the most just get it down and keep moving. I also keep a notebook with me all the time so I can write down different variations or new ideas but not putting them in my current book. Not sure if that helps much:) I like the idea of handwriting it in a notebook, and notecards too.

Book Dilettante said...

I've just started trying a book of my own and can sympathize with all the hurdles to overcome. Great to have others to discuss writing with.

I have a prize for you over at my blog! Award

Sheila Deeth said...

Just wandered over here from Book Dilettante. I like this wannabe writers idea. I'm definitely a wannabe, and I've been trying to meet a challenge this month, but stalled and decided I'd rather edit what I'd written that add more to it in the wrong places. I think stopping to edit helps. At least I like where the story's going again now.

Anissa said...

I don't think editing as you go is necessarily a bad thing. Plenty of authors do it. I remember reading an interview by Dean Koontz in which he said he won't move on to the next page until the one he's working on is perfect. Then there's Stephen King who just cranks out that first draft. We're all different. The problem starts if you never move forward. Or you might block yourself. If that happens, I say, "Give yourself permission to write something that my be deleted." Then just go with it and push on to the end.

Found you via Crystal Cook. I'll be back!

Crystal Cook said...

Have you been to Holly Lisle's site? I found her on Cassandra Clare's site, she recommended her for writers. She has cool things to say about staying on track, and everything else. I thought they were really helpful here's the link
http://hollylisle.com/fm/Articles/faqs1.html Hope that link works, computers scare me sometimes:) if not go to hollylisle.com how to write faqs

Your Friendly Neighborhood Palindrome said...

I used to constantly stop and edit. It's bad for me because I have nothing to show for it...no finished projects. So, I stopped typing and I hand-write everything. Hopefully, by this time next year, I will have at least 2 of my novels finished.

Good luck!!

p.s. I left something for you on my blog.

Jeff King said...

I don't edit when I write it slows me down and makes me focus on the nuts and bolts of writing. Rather than getting the first draft down as fast as the thrill of a new idea will take me... I have tried in the past to go back and edit my manuscripts and it has been a bad thing. You always change too much or get side tracked and stop progressing with your story and staying fresh with you characters.
For me, the best thing to do is just get in down on paper, then rewrite and polish... why waste the time doing it to a story that’s not complete, get it done the worry about it.

But to each their own.

I know how it feels to look back instead of pushing ahead. Its all about self-doubt, you want to do better, be better, feel better... just forget all that and write, finish your work then go back and pick it apart.

best of luck.

J. Kaye said...

Ugh! Sorry for not putting the correct URL on my post. Also, we're in week 4, not 5. I am so backwards...lol.

InABox said...

I don't think editing as you go is a bad thing. If that's the way your brain works as a writer, then that's what you should do. Just make sure not to get bogged down in the minute details at the expense of the plot.

Maybe you could set aside a certain amount of time to edit and then spend the rest of your time on new material.

Amanda said...

I like the idea of this blog and these questions! I'm suscribing and will probably participate next time. :)

Tabitha said...

I used to do that, and everyone kept telling me that was 'a bad thing' and that I had to stop. So I did, and then I was overwhelmed when it came to revising. So I ignored everyone's advice and came up with my own style. :)

Now, I write and revise chapter one probably twenty times, making sure it's solid, and that I'm starting in the right place. Then, I move on to chapter two. Doing so much revising on chapter one makes me feel like it's okay to not revise chapter two, and I'm able to get through a first draft without feeling overwhelmed.

So, really, if revise-as-you-go is working for you, why fix it if it ain't broke? :)