Wednesday, October 6, 2010

WiP Wednesday: Still Writing

This week has been kicking my rear end (to put it nicely). By the time the Dashingly Handsome Sidekick gets home in the evening, I'm ready to keel over.

But I've still been writing, mainly because writing relaxes me.

Not Stories-A-Week like I should be writing, but my WiP. I'm addicted to it. Even if I have fifteen minutes free, I grab my laptop and try to edit a few lines.

Laptops are wonderful for this.

But the blog suffers.

And the Stories-A-Week are neglected.

The good news is, I think I'm almost finished with my first big edit of my rewrite.

I split up a few chapters (this WiP has very short chapters), and since it's a mixture of prose and verse, I have a few more free verse poems to write to fill in gaps. I have one more plot point I need to introduce a bit earlier.

But I can feel that I'm almost there. I'm close.

Meanwhile, Blogger has also been booting me in the rear end, too. I just wrote a very elaborate comment on Krista V's post (very cool post!) about all the BIG places I've been in the world and all the BIG places I still want to go. But then I tried to post it and got an error message. Blagggh.

I read a very informative post on dialogue on Kelly's blog. I tried to comment there, too, but had the same problem. Thanks, Kelly, for the post, though. If you read this, your point about editing dialogue at least 20 times helped me to push through to make my dialogue better these last couple days. Sometimes I feel like I've worked on a stretch of dialogue enough. What I need to remember is that it's never enough until it feels perfect. Until it's seamless. The number 20 helped me realize just how long that might take! Rewriting something five times might seem like a lot, but it still may not be enough.

My mom also shared a fun tidbit with me through email this week. She read an article about author Richard Peck who wrote one of my favorite books of all time, A Year Down Yonder. He has a lot of quirky writing habits. I won't share them all here, but this one struck me:

After he finishes a manuscript (he rewrites every page six times, by the way, all on electric typewriter) he'll "take this first chapter, and without rereading it, I'll throw it away and write the chapter that goes at the beginning. Because the first chapter is the last chapter in disguise."

Hmm. What do you think of that? I think it's a great practice to rewrite a first chapter after you've finished a book. But what do you think about that quote -- "the first chapter is the last chapter in disguise?"

That little tidbit, however, motivated me to rewrite my first chapter AGAIN. I don't know how many times I've rewritten it now. A lot. First chapters are so important, though, I know nailing it is crucial. I don't think I'm quite there with this one, though. Getting closer, but still not there.

How about you? Anything strike you as interesting this week? Epiphany moments? (They don't have to be about writing, either.)

Have a golden rest of your week!


  1. I once did a seminar with a very talented writer as the teacher. She said after she finishes her first draft of a NOVEL, she SCRAPS IT AND STARTS AGAIN. This revelation was met with stunned silence from the group. Can you imagine completely scrapping the first draft you've worked on and sweated over, the starting again from scratch? Her logic was that all the unnecessary stuff then falls away and the true novel reveals itself or emerges (or something like that). It works for her, but I honestly can't imagine doing that...

    PS - Got my prize book - thank you!!!!

  2. First chapters kick my tail. I've rewritten it so many times, it's not funny. I'd heard that about Richard Peck. I guess we all have to do what works for us individually. :)

  3. Oh gosh, great job with your book. I understand because I try to do the same thing. IF you've got a few minutes- write!

  4. Yay, Amy! No epiphanies to report, but I'm happy to hear you're making such good progress. Sorry you got those error messages, but it's the thought that counts, right? :)

  5. WTG on your WIP! That's what your supposed to be working on the most. (wink)

    Great tip I'll have to look at my first chapter when I get to my last chapter on my WIP and compare...I don't know if it would be the same on chapter books...

    Lightbulb moments for this week: I'm just trying to climb out of the whole I buried myself into two weeks ago...

  6. In rare cases when I write a long comment on blogger, I'll first type it on my regular word processor then copy and paste because the all too often blogger has a momentary meltdown and the comment gets dele.... ahhhh

  7. Yay, Amy! I'm so happy for you! And you make lots of great points here.

    The first chapter is a funny thing. It's the chapter I rewrite the most, and it changes as I work through the book. I enjoy writing it in that first draft when I can afford to feel like it's way better than it is. ;) Then when it's time to revise, I'm like, "What was I thinking?!" But that's okay. It allowed me to enter the book and get everything rolling. Then I can perfect it and try to make it shine.

  8. Hey Amy- thanks for attempting to comment;) I'm trying to catch up on all the blogs I've been missing, so I'm glad I stopped by.

    Just an FYI, my 20 revisions are turning out to be more like 30!


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