Friday, January 8, 2010

My Starving Book


I thought I would let my No Kiss post linger a while, but I feel I should write about my editing experiences.

I have written my first novel ever to be shorter than 200 pages! Can you believe that? I guess it wouldn't be considered a novel then, right? I feel it has a good, strong story line, the characters are rich and believable and their trials are oh so real. The problem is that after reading a how to edit book, I was so self-conscious about writing that I starved my book! It is the most skeletal story I've ever written!

Well, I submitted this poor thing to Scrawl (my awesome critique group of bestest friends ever) and they gave it back to me telling me exactly what I knew it needed--flesh on its bones. LOL!

I've gone over their comments, suggestions and edits and have jotted down notes and set aside my notepad for the time being. I have to admit this: I am scared of it! I am scared of the great unknown.

Sure I have received critiques in the past before and have done many rewrites and edits and so on and so forth (I have 7 other books I have completed) but none of them are starved and needing so much building. It will be a challenge. A huge one. Maybe. Maybe not. I only think it will be because this is my first time. But you know what? I am up for the task. I have total faith in my capability as a person and as a writer to get the job done and I know my Scrawl will never lead me astray. I only feel bad for any frustrations they may have felt of reading a 'half baked' book!

I would love it if you shared with me how you have personally honed up to the challenge of rewrites when/if your editors/critiquers required one. On top of that, what is your process to combing through the comments and applying them? (I know that sometimes interpreting them can be frustrating as well).

6 comments:

  1. I look forward to the comments here, as I am about to begin the editing process myself. I don't belong to a critique group get, but want to work on forming one sometime soon. Until then, so much of my knowledge is gained from wonderful writing blogs. Thanks to everyone for their help.

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  2. Kim!

    My critique group live far and wide. Well, by hours that is. If I wanted to see any of them, I'd have to drive about 2 hours out! We have a Yahoo group and keep in constant contact via e-mail and through our blogs and Face Book. We call each other too, at times and have even gotten together just for fun.

    I feel it is important if you can find critiquers who want to be friends with you--for me it was hard to form a group that was only interested in remaining acquaintances with no contact between meeting times. But that's just me... :) (Would you like my email address? I would love to be there for you in any way I can!)

    :)

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  3. A great friend told me that she prays before she ever puts fingers to the keyboard. Whether it's for editing or first drafts, I think it's the best thing I can do. Not to mix religion with writing, but when I do that, I at least find myself centered.

    That part aside, when it comes to critiques, I always give myself a day or two BEFORE applying them. I let those thoughts simmer and then think about whether they'll work for me or not. If they don't, I don't use them. If they do, I hop right in. If there's more than one person telling me an element doesn't work, I listen CLOSELY to that suggestion because that's a big thing.
    Most of all, I think about what I'm trying to portray to my reader. Sometimes it means I take a whole new route.

    That's my take, anyhow. Great post, Lizzie.

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  4. Thank you, Laura! I always pray before writing, too. If I don't, I am not inspired. I know exactly what you mean. I feel it is a very important step for my writing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me! :)

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  5. The biggest problem with my writing - bare bones. I write what I need the first draft and have to go back and add the second. However, each novel I write, the better I get at improving the description and other stuff.

    ann

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  6. When I first started Uninvoked, it had a bog monster lecturing the hero on fire safety in the middle of a swamp. Yes. Really. Now it's a much sharper piece, still with "Typical rough draft issues" as my latest review mentioned. I'm working on it!

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