Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Exile Edits

Despite the fact that I haven't posted anything in the last few days I'm still hard at work. When I first started my second draft I read through it completely and took notes on what needed to be changed/revised/whatever. While I did this I also jotted down a lot of random ideas I had for the way I wanted to change things, and though some of them are good, many of them are bad. Right now I'm running through all of these random ideas that I jotted down in notes, as well as others I've had while editing the first 15 chapter, and making up a more solid outline for the way that the rest of the story is going to play out. I'm currently about 1/3 of the way through the second draft. So far there haven't been any really major changes in the overall plotline or character relationships, but that's starting to change now. I'm getting into parts of the story that are going to see significant rewrites, and as good as my memory might be, it's not good enough to keep everything completely straight without an outline I can check things against, and that is what I've been doing the last few days. I've been planning out all of my changes on paper (so to say, more like digital paper, but whatever) so that I don't have to keep everything in my head and can add all my random thoughts and ideas and notes to as I go along.

Soooo, despite the lack of new chapters posted on my website this week I'm still working on it, if not actually making edits to the actual manuscript. In my experience writing a story this long is 50% imagination, 40% planning/plotting/outlining, and 10% actually writing. The reason this story is requiring so much work now is because I skipped out on nearly all of the planning/plotting/outlining part when I wrote the first draft. If you don't start out with a good foundation for the story by planning and plotting, and brainstorming, and developing your characters' personalities before you actually start writing then you're going to end up with crap. If you, the writer, don't know your characters inside and out, and how they'll act in every given situation, then you're not ready to write. If you don't know everything that is going to happen from start to finish then you're also not ready to write. But also, a problem that a lot of people in writing classes I've been in have run into is making an outline and sticking to it without allowing any room for improvising, or the fact that maybe their characters personalities will not allow certain events to play out exactly as outlined. I've often run into things that were great when I imagined them and outlined, but then when I started writing those parts I realized taht they go against the characters personalities and things ahve to be changed. Also, some of my best ideas come to me as I'm writing, rather than while I'm brainstorming and outlining. So you do need to do all the work before you actually start writing, but you have to remain flexible as well.

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