lessons

Step One

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Tabs_EekSo if you haven’t been keeping tabs on my Twitter feed or page on Facebook, I finished what I’m calling “Step One” of my editing process. Well, the editing process for The Forsaken. I’ve read/heard that the editing process varies book by book, and at the moment I’m inclined to believe it. Anyway.

Step One, for me, this time, was REplotting, alternatively, replanning.

Sometimes, over the course of writing a novel, certain things change. In the course of The Forsaken there was very little that DIDN’T change. Most characters stayed about the same, though motivations and means may have. Characters crawled out of the woodwork that I didn’t know about before, and other little things that changed what happened up front. So I had to do a complete overhaul of the plot.

That’s done. My scene count it at 80, MANY of them new, or needing to be rewritten. I’ve updated the counter at the top right to reflect that. Right now it’s set at zero, until I figure out how many scenes are being kept as is.

So I guess I can leave you with a lesson I’ve learned. Don’t be afraid of change. Change happens. Maybe you’ve got the story wrong, or characters aren’t being totally honest with you. It happens. If it happens in the middle of a draft, make a note of it and carry on. Don’t go back and change to respond to that, just write on as if it’s already happened. Yes, this means that characters drop off the face of the earth and others react to things that have never happened but draft one and two and three all the way up to the one before line editing are made for mistakes. That’s what they are for. They’re there to for you to get it written, before getting it right.

Have you noticed any oft-repeated cliches coming true over the course of your own writing? Or the flip side, have you noticed any cliches that are obviously false?

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A Helping Hand

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ImageI told Twitter… Friday or Saturday that I discovered that I like helping people. For some of you, there’s a question as to why this is surprising. Well, there’s something you need to understand about me.

I. Hate. People.

Oh, I like individual persons fine (with exceptions, naturally), but in general, I hate people. This is due to events such as the Boston marathon bombing, the school shooting in Newtown, and anyone who has killed a spouse or child or in any way intentionally ruined or destroyed another’s life.

The fact that people could do this and (for some) feel no guilt at all, boggles my mind and pisses me off. But I digress.

Friday night/Saturday morning at work, I helped a customer find something that we were out of on the shelf. It’s a small thing, and may not have made an impression on him, but it was a revelation for me.

I. Like. Helping. People.

Now, I promised Twitter I would tie this to writing, and here it is: when I began reading, and even now, the world’s between the covers of a book were (and are) an escape. Reading about someone else’s life and problems was a way to forget (or at least set aside) my own.

It’s not the reason I began writing, nor is it the reason I continue, but if I can help even one individual to escape their world, I will feel happy and truly successful.