January 11, 2008 at 2:10 pm 5 comments

I’m trying to clear out my hardrive so I can concentrate on the new incomplete novels I’ve got sitting on the hardrive, which means as I’m writing in my handy dandy notebook, AND I’m sending chapters to my CP. And it never fails to blow my mind how different revising is from writing. Depending on how much you need to fix you might do your share of writing, but still it’s not the same. Let me give you an example. Here’s the first two paragraphs from I Said Never:

“I’m never going to get married.” I said to my friend Shelise and watched as her eyebrows rose. A sure sign a speech would soon follow. Now, I didn’t say this because I couldn’t find a good man. Love and marriage was for the love sick. Believing in marriage means having hope I’d find the right guy. It means believing in something intangible.

I don’t do intangible.

When I’m looking at these two paragraphs I’m thinking, “What can I change to make this stronger?”, “Did I get the character right?”, Hell, “Are these sentences grammatically correct?”, “I really should run grammatik right now?”, Double hell, ” Do these sentences even make sense or will the reader go, huh?”

Now for an example from writing:

You see the difference. Yes, I know blank space. That’s blank space I need to fill up. There is nothing for me to agonize over, other than there is nothing there. I’m sure revising and writing uses two different sides of the brain, that’s neither here or there.

What I want to know from you guys…What difference between revising and writing have you noticed?


Entry filed under: questions, writing woes.


5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Davina  |  January 11, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    For me, revising’s easier for exactly that reason – there are a hundred different questions you can ask yourself to see what needs to change.

    When you’re writing, there are moments when the words just flow and you never want to stop, and that’s the best bit; but there are also the times when you’re sat staring at the screen reading the last sentence over and over again and no matter how many times you rephrase the question ‘What should happen next?’ the meaning doesn’t change. Even if you have a reasonable idea of where you’re ultimately going with it, you still have to figure out the same answer. Of course, when you finally do, the feeling of breaking through that wall is exhilirating 🙂

    Hello, by the way. I’ve been lurking for a while, so thought I should make myself known, particularly now that we’re both on the WWfW forums.

    Congratulations again on the book release too – I hope it goes really well for you.

  • 2. Mel  |  January 12, 2008 at 1:49 am

    Hi, Davina. Amazing I have lurkers. Who would have thought.

    Anyway, I agree, (most days) on what you pointed out. Those days when the words are flying from your brain to your fingers are days that you laugh at the thought of revising. Those days that shall not be named, shall not be mentioned.

    On the flip side when you read back something you’ve written and don’t know HOW to fix it, is just as trying than the days that shall not be named.

  • 3. bettye griffin  |  January 12, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    I tend to write as I revise, but I also revise on a regular basis as I work on a project. I never fail to find areas where I can make improvements . . . sometimes, unfortunately, even when I’m reading the galleys and it’s too late.

  • 4. Mel  |  January 12, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    Galleys are painful. Through most of mine I kept thinking “am I being picky? or does this really need to be changed?”

  • 5. Edie  |  January 13, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    I revise as I write, but then I revise later, and then I revise after I receive my subs back from my CPs. LOL A lot of revising there.

    I’m always looking for ways to make it better. When I do find a way, it makes me feel better too. It makes me happy.

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