Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Of Editing and Temper Tantrums...

"How do I know what I think, until I see what I say?" - E.M. Forster

I have all these new ideas for changing and improving Camilla's story, and I'm excited about them. Yet, when I sit my butt in the chair and try to write, I have nothing to say. If I force it, it's clear that's what I've done. I want to get this blasted book finished and I really am pumped to do just that, so I don't understand why it's not working out for me.

I've gotten next to nothing written in the past week or so -- unless you count the mini auto-biography I'm working on for the website. But, to be honest, that's equally boring as the forced stuff in Camilla and I need to go hunt down my sense of humor, wherever it's gone hiding, and try again.

I have added another item to my ongoing wish list, however. I went to the Discovery Store at the mall yesterday. It's my DD's favorite place to go (she's asking for gift cards there for any and all occasions in the hope that she'll get enough for the robo-raptor). I walked in and saw The Homedics Shiatsu Back Massager with Traveling Action and promptly sat down. Oh. My. Gosh. I never wanted to get up again. I'm in love.

I decided that having one of those is a must for someone like me who spends so much time at the keyboard. Right?

So, back to the original topic. What do you do when it's time to make major edits, and they just don't want to work for you? Do you force your way through them, just to get them in place and then go back later and polish them up? Do you set them aside and hope that it'll get easier at some point in the future? Do you scream and yell and throw a temper tantrum?

Inquiring minds want to know...


Ceri said...

I don't know if it's such a good idea, but I generally force my way through them. I know, eventually, I'll get to a better place and then I'll breeze along for a bit. I'm actually in the forcing point right now, but only because I'm trying to fix my head hopping problems in my wip. Thats not as easy as it sounds. But it's a necessary evil and I have to get through it to make progress. This story will be longer than the two previous manuscripts (though maybe not as long as my first). I'm not getting enough done though. I'm too distracted.

qgfqi (oh come on now...)quick geckos feel quirky inside

Judy said...

I'm having enough trouble getting the blamed stories finished! On the ones I HAVE finished, though, I give myself some slack and some assignments. On some, it's easier, because I've a deadline. On the ones I don't have a deadline, I set myself one (and let a couple of writing buddies know about it)... a date the edits HAVE to be done by. Then I figure how many pages I have to do to reach that deadline. I don't go back and edit til the story itself is finished... which is one reason I'm not posting any of Lizzie or Fiona right now. I'm pushing to finish the novels first and, in the meantime, working on short-stories so I'm not expelled from Timeless Tales ;-)

Charity said...

I think there’s a transition period between doing all the brainstorming in the workbook and working the new material into the manuscript. For me, all the new stuff was like rough draft writing, so as soon as I accepted it as such, things went much better. I told myself I only had to rough it in and I’d deal with the rest later.

And I thought I’d lost Bethany’s voice and a slew of other things as well. Make big structural changes to a story is a big deal. I know I can’t do that and worry about whether I’ve used “was” too many times on one page or whatever. I decided to worry about the “framework” first, then come back around to smooth the plaster, add paint, and decorate. So to speak.

Allie Boniface said...

It depends...why are you forcing major edits if they don't feel right? Have you worked out a plan and you know from a distance, from the big picture, that you need those edits but you don't want to do the nitty gritty? In those cases, yes, I force myself through them. Then go back and polish. But if an edit *feels* wrong, then I'd take another look at where your story wants to go. Just a thought.