Thursday’s Children: 05.09.2013

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Have you ever edited something so many times it loses meaning?

*sigh* I’m working on a ginormous rewrite of SHADOW right now. Let me say that I love this book. It’s my favorite, and it always will be. I will never get sick of the characters or the plot, no matter how many times I read it. But it’s gotten to a point where I have the ms pretty much memorized. So I’m not exactly sure what’s working and what’s not. Nothing hits me freshly, and that’s never good.

So what inspired me this week was a reversion to old school technology: I’m starting this baby over in a notebook.

Me and my new buddy! Yes, it’s black and glittery. Would you expect any less of me?

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And of course I’m keeping my characters (Lord Caden fans, don’t worry) and the basic plot line. But there’s so much that needs work (POV, tense, and a bunch of other shtuff) that it’s not worth going through and changing every other word in my Word document. I tried starting a new document, but I was really tempted to say, “Well, I’m keeping this plot event so I’m just gonna copy/paste.” Nooooooo, for a couple reasons. One) The whole thing needs to be fresh, right down to sentence structure and wording. Two) I don’t want to be limited by my current plot. There’s a lot of possibility there that I haven’t explored! So I’m writing it out. Yes, I am writing out my entire novel, with a pen (pencil?), in a notebook. Which, maybe you’re like, “So? I do that every time.” Well, I don’t. I haven’t done this since the very first time I tried to write a novel which was in eighth grade. I’m exhilarated by it.

I also get to see what my thought process looks like on paper. 0.o

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(I also stand by the notion that geniuses have terrible handwriting.)

So what about you? Do you type it or write it out? How do you make sure you have the utmost clarity when you overhaul your work?

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6 comments

  1. I tend to edit as I go, so pen/paper wouldn’t work for me, it would be a mess of strikethroughs and cramped rewording written above, arrows pointing to new versions in the margins, etc. BUT I know exactly what you mean about being unable to see your book with fresh eyes. I did rewrite one whole book (my first one) after having revised it several times. Also, for me, stepping away for a couple of months, working on something else, then coming back helps.

  2. Like Rhiann, I’m an edit as I go kinda girl. And also? I have serial killer handwriting. If I tried to do the awesome thing you’re doing I would never be able to read it when I was finished! 🙂

  3. That’s me! I write my rough drafts in my notebook. YAY to old school. It certainly helps me keep focus–and off the computer, until I’m ready to revise. All the best of the new write through. 🙂

  4. Wow! The last time I tried writing in a notebook (i was sixteen), I gave up in frustration after a few chapters. I make mistakes a lot and I’m a sucker for tidy notes. I’m so hopeless without a computer. However, I do most of my brainstorming in notebooks. My current WIP took me two notebooks to outline!

  5. Most things I’ve done have been typed, but I do have one ongoing handwritten draft that I take with me on long train journeys because it’s lighter than lugging my old laptop around (and the notebook doesn’t have to worry about electricity outlets). The story involves trains, too, so that’s useful. And one day, I swear, that pile of scribbles will be auctioned for a king’s ransom and pay my grandchildren through university! Once this draft is done I’ll type it up and edit as I go.

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