Wednesday, February 1, 2017

IWSG: Viewing My Work Objectively

Today is IWSG day, a monthly event author Alex Cavanaugh started to get writers sharing about insecurities and other stuff going on in their lives. It's 10ish PM here on the West Coast...still Wednesday! Today's IWSG question is: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader? I find that being a writer has helped me approach books with more attentiveness to character and plot development and how the author works (or doesn't work, at times) these elements into their writing.

Recently, as I was reflecting on my novel, it occurred to me I should switch out one of the supporting characters for another kind of character. So far, I am pleased with my choice. Awhile back, I decided to remove another character altogether, another decision I was glad to have made. I find that some distance from my work-in-progress helps me to view my story in a more objective light when I return to it so I can more easily identify areas that need attention. That's one benefit of having a work-in-progress that I've been working on for so long because my ideas and intentions for it have changed over time. Still, sometimes I still feel frustrated that I have not yet written THE END on my project yet. And that's what I sometimes feel insecure about.

What major editing choices have you made in your work after you've taken a break from it?

13 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You're in the growing and learning phase big time. Don't worry, the rate of learning will slow a bit and you will finish. It will never be perfect, but it will be done some day.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I can totally relate to how long it can take to finish a manuscript. I had to cut about 20,000 words from my first one. After tweaking it, I had to admit some perfectly written chapters that didn't advance the plot enough had to go. Good luck with your revisions.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I hear you re writing THE END. I've been working on my WiP on and off for a few years now. I do think it's better now then it was back then but, well, I don't know.... Fingers crossed I'm not making it worse!

Pat Hatt said...

Perfection will never come due, but you will get a great story that you like and then you'll know "the end" it is.

M.J. Fifield said...

I always take a few months off in between drafts, and after my last break with my current WIP, I came back and started making a lot of changes. There was a lot of "Why is this character doing this, when he should be doing that instead?" and "This makes absolutely no sense. Why did I ever think it did?"

I'm worried at how long this particular revision is taking—that I haven't yet been able to type THE END and mean it—but, like Madeline, I think I'm improving things, but just hoping that I'm not making them worse.

Liz A. said...

Time to let the MS rest is vital. It helps the story "cook", I think. Glad it's working out for you.

S.P. Bowers said...

I have to let it sit every now and again. Having a fresh look is invaluable. And I'm a slow writer, too. It takes me forever.

Ruth Schiffmann said...

It's the hardest thing to set a beloved project aside, but I have definitely seen the benefit of doing so. I'm in the middle of a major rewrite for one of my YA novels. I had thought it was finished many times and it got oh-so-close with agents on several occasions. But. I wasn't getting any offers. I did a few rounds of revisions, but they just weren't enough and I didn't know what to do. So I began a new project. It was while I was in the midst of that new story that I realized what the other one needed.
I'm a slow writer too. But I think the stories benefit from the time we take with them. Good luck with yours!

The Silver Fox said...

Being a writer has changed the way I watch TV and movies. I often say the dialogue a character is about to say, even though I've never seen the program or film before.

Little Bits of Lovely said...

My editing when it comes to writing a book is a nightmare, instead of expanding on subjects and so on, I always find that my book is ever so much shorter every time I'm done! I hope you have a wonderful week!

Nicohle Christopherson said...

After I took a year long break from my WIP, I ended up deciding to break it up from a long 500,000 word monstrosity into smaller serial novels. I've never regretted it once. It's always good to take a break and go back to look over things, that way you get a fresh perspective.

Nancy Gideon said...

Distance makes the editing choices less emotional and more professional. I always send my draft out to a BETA reader then look at it again with their comments in mind. That niggling feeling that something wasn't quite right comes into focus on that second look, sometimes inspired by the reader's impressions, sometimes just because I'm not 'living it' as closely.

Lee Lowery said...

A bit of distance definitely helps me. Major editing - I recently had what I thought what a light story take a turn for the dark. A whole new criminal element pushed itself into the story. That said, I love the direction the book is taking. I struggle with keeping on track with one project, so that is my writing goal for the year.

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