Friday, 19 November 2010

A stitch in time saves nine?

Vomiting kids, that's all I've got say on the terrible lateness.

WELL I've been re-organising my book this week. I decided that my reveal came to soon at 50,000 words, that I needed to rebalance the light and dark and that one character came in too late.

On the whole I quite like this process of first draft wrangling although I get mired in the details quite often, finding it hard to see the big picture - that's when I have to call in re-enforcements to give me an impartial over view. I don't always agree with them, sometimes i think they are wrong. But seeing what they don't see helps me realise what's missing and when they are right its usually about something blatantly obvious.

I've cut twenty thousand words but ended up a thousand words up - I'm still not finished but now at least I feel poised to be able to race to the finish line knowing this book inside out.

I am always in two minds about this process. I never can decide which is best. Complete the first draft and then fix it, or fix as you go along. I've done both in the past - but my question is - should anyone be bothered to come back here and comment at this ungodly hour - is which option is your preference and do you ever lose sight of your WIP.

Very, very, very sorry for lateness.


Cathy said...

I tend to edit the structural/larger stuff as I go, then go back over the first draft for language, timeline and factual inconsistencies etc.

Hope the kids are better soon.

andewallscametumblindown said...

Didn't you tell the kids to choose a different day to be sick?

It probably depends on when the new ideas come to you and how sure you are that the change will improve it. I don't think there's much point in continuing with an old version if you know it will all be different in the new version.

Leatherdykeuk said...

I generally edit the plot as I go along, then revise for copy and line edits.

Jenny Beattie said...

I put a note in when I realise I've got to introduce a new plot idea and then I continue writing as though it's already in from that point forwards.

I'm restructuring now and I've found it REALLY hard but with fingers crossed I think I'm getting there now.

I hope the puking has stopped.

Rowan Coleman said...

oh jennie - that's a good idea, I wish I'd had it!

Denise said...

I think I'm going to do more fixing as I go along next time, as I'm finding my 'just get it written' draft quite hard work to edit.

Hope you haven't caught your kids bug!

Karen said...

I do a bit of both too, as the editing tends to feel out of hand if I leave it until the first draft is finished. It's easy to get stuck on the edit-as-you-go though and it can stop you from moving on. (By 'you' obviously I mean me!)

Hope the kids have recovered.

Annieye said...

I like to smooth out the wrinkles as I go along. Each writing session starts with an edit of the previous session.

I then do a timeline and post it round the walls of my utility room. On this I plot ages, birthdays etc of the characters.

Then I go through the main plot for inconsistencies, followed by sub-plots.

Hope your kids are better now.

Anonymous said...

I used to work the way Annie works: begin with some editing of the previous scene, before embarking upon writing the next scene. In my latest experiment (NaNoWriMo), that's all changed. I'm now writing with no editing, save for making terse margin notes about what's broken, with a view to fixing it later. It's a great way to gain raw material but it is just that – raw material.

I'm usually much more of an organiser. I use mind maps, outlines, time lines, storyboards, spreadsheets, even geographic maps sometimes; so this reckless abandoned mode of writing is a bit alien to me. It's good for getting the word count up though.

Graeme K Talboys said...

OMG! When was Friday! Four days ago! Aaaargh!

For a normal sort of book, I try to sort out the details before I draft. Knowing my characters inside out and knowing what has to happen when still leaves a lot of freedom. I then knock out the whole thing and leave it for a few weeks before going back to see what kind of a train wreck it is.