Posts tagged ‘editing’

May 8th, 2010

Wannabe Writers #15

by Madeleine Rex

Wannabe Writers is a fantastic weekly meme hosted by Sarah at Confessions of the Un-Published!

Where I am in the Writing Process: Still haven’t started editing. My mom and I will work on it the weekend of the 22nd. However, I did read my book this past week, and who woulda thunk it? I really liked it! It was so cheering to realize that, although this particular novel might not work out, due to a weak plot, I can write. Now, I’m dying to work on my projects with stronger plotlines. I truly believe that I can make something of them.

I began working on The Lemonites this past week. I love my plot for this one and am going to be discussing it with a friend soon. However, I probably won’t be working on it too deeply for about a year because Forbidden is next in the queue.

My Current Problems: As I said, I’m now fiddling with The Lemonites, and have realized that I have become wholeheartedly a plotter. I just can’t do much without one, or at least not for over 3,000 words. I’m in desperate need of Character Analyses, a synopsis actually written (it’s in my head at the moment), and, at the bare minimum, the scenes noted. You see, with That Boy in the Shed, I had a 7-step synopsis, and for each of those seven sections, I took stream-of-conciousness scene notes, such as 1) Janet and Joe meet up at Starbucks and discuss the back robbery and the slip-up (<– Not real). Typically, there were at least 10 of these (sometimes even 25) per section. That process alone didn’t take more than a few hours. After that, I took each of those notes and expanded them into one and half pages+ scene summaries. I might leave this next step out next time around because it’s the most time consuming, and I found that they were kind of hard to deal with. I kept having to switch windows to check up on exactly what I wanted to do. I had plotted in too much detail.

Speaking of switching windows: The very beginning of The Lemonites is a mix of a new story and the original spur-of-the-moment story I wrote with the main characters. I found that when writing it, I had to switch windows constantly, trying to quote myself. Luckily, my insanely wonderful parents are going to buy me a seperate monitor, and from then on I should be able to plot, write, and I’m sure edit more easily. I think having two screens will help incredibly with working with beta-read versions.

The Question this Week: Would you be disappointed if 5 years from now you still wrote [2500] words everyday and weren’t published? What then?

Oh, the horror! Yes, I would be disappointed!

To work so hard and reap so little awards, to have your hopes crushed time and time again. I suppose that, as a fourteen-year-old, five years feels a lot longer to me (consider: I was nine five years ago, which seems like centuries ago). However, that still only makes me 19, which is not bad at all. My goal, however, is to be in the process of publishing a book by the time I turn sixteen. I strive toward that goal diligently, but I know that there’s a chance that I will fail to meet it. What then?

More writing. More writing. More writing. Your chances of becoming published increase with every moment you practice/write.

Some rules apply to everything in life, and practice makes perfect [enough], is one of them. Not-so-great writers can become good ones, and good writers can become fabulous, as long as said writers work everyday, toil and struggle, to reach their goals. I believe that there’s always room for improvement, and if it’s taking you forever to publish (although five years is not forever), more practice is probably in demand.

However, we all know that perseverence in the querying area is also necessary. Perhaps you are a great writer and your novel has a stable plot, but the particular agent you query simply isn’t intrigued. Send more, by goodness, send one hundred more. Don’t give up until either you or the possibilities are exhausted. And meanwhile, keep writing.

May 2nd, 2010

Wannabe Writers #14

by Madeleine Rex

Wannabe Writers is a fantastic meme hosted by Sarah at Confessions of the Un-Published. Every week, we give updates on our writing and answer a writing-related question before heading over to get to know the other writers participating. If you want to learn more, click.

Where I am in the Writing Process: I’ve been reading my MS over the last few days, and it’s one of the most surreal experiences. Very enjoyable, yet kind of torturous at the same time. Wouldn’t it be so nice if you could snap your fingers and make it perfect? Anyway, I intend to start working a little bit on The Lemonites (working title), which is crazily exciting. I’m going to plot it a little itty bitty bit. I need to get the main story structure planned. Besides that, however, I probably won’t do much plotting, largely because I don’t want to get too invested in this story quite yet.

My Current Problems: None, that I can think of. I can sense that going back to the 2,000 word/2 hours a day schedule will be difficult. My editing daily goals will be a bit different, of course, but they’ll still eat up my time. I’m so grateful that the summer’s so close. I get out of school (Goodbye, Middle School!) on June 18th. I’ll then be able to multitask more. Forbidden plotting + That Boy in the Shed editing.

The Question this Week: What to do to get myself back into writing? What to do to get myself excited about an old story?

When you’ve “fallen out of love” with a storyline and are looking to rekindle the old flame, I’d force yourself to work with it. Just do it. Sit down and mess with it every day, for a certain amount of time/words. As you work and spend time with the story, ideally you’ll learn to love it again, or at least enjoy its company enough to make it through. I wouldn’t be surprised if you found that you became closer friends with the characters, too.

I’ve never had this problem, precisely. I just work and work and work for a set time/word count. I don’t have to love it for every second. I just get it done. In the end though, and typically when I’m in the middle of my daily writing session, I do love what I’m doing. My finger’s will fly, my eyes won’t leave the screen, and my mind’s focused. Then again, some days, I write hesitantly, constantly looking at the clock or checking the word count. It just depends.

So, trudge on. You’ll make it. By the end of the day, you’ll have written something, and the satisfaction of having done so alone is as sweet as pie… which, at my house, means a lot.

Alright, folks! I’m writing book reviews today. I’m forcing myself to do it, so this week should be better, blogging-wise. Happy Sunday! And good luck over this fresh, new week.

April 25th, 2010

Wannabe Writers #13

by Madeleine Rex

This amazing meme, Wannabe Writers,  is hosted by Sarah at Confessions of the Un-Published! The list of participators is growing each week. Join in the fun!

Where I am in the Writing Process: Editing is on the horizon. I can feel its warmth on my neck.

My Current Problems: My mom doesn’t have time to work on the first edit until mid-May. I simply can’t wait that long. I’ve already had almost a month off. I’m actually missing working my bum off. I am officially and hopelessly a  writer – which, let’s be honest, is occasionally synonymous with sadistic. Anyway, my mom and I are going to officially designate a weekend for editing and figure out what the heck I’m going to do between now and then.

Also, I am being driven positively crazy. What do I do when a character and his darned voice will not leave me alone? I really do not want the project attached to said irritatingly persistent character to be my next. I truly believe that Forbidden needs to be my next one. Yet this main character will not leave me alone, and the idea for his story has snagged my interest as well. I am in need of advice here, so please, spill it. Drown me in it.

The Question this Week: What do you give up in order to write?

Well, other than the life of an ordinary teenager, which I never wanted much, I haven’t given up too many things. Just a lot of time. And sanity. I think the more important question would be: What have you gained?

Exactly what I’ve wanted for so long: A finished MS and a gut instinct that I really will publish a book, even if it’s not this one.

I think that nearly everything healthy in life involves giving and taking. We give our time, we finish the book. We sacrifice, and we reap the rewards. The more time and energy we invest in our writing, the more satisfied and proud we will be when we finish a project.

P.S. Hurry up and enter to win one of five copies of Sorta Like a Rock Star! If you haven’t yet, I cannot fathom why! You could also read my review of the book and interview with the author (click and click).