I haven’t made a post for a while (hangs head in shame). A writing friend suggested a simple topic – 3 reasons – so I though I would use that to explain my absence.
I have been engaged in an incredible writing class by the amazing Heather Howland. I have learned so much and realize I have even more that I can do to polish and hone not only my current MS, but also my craft. The lessons are changing the way I look at my writing and I can already see that future books will be so much easier.
As a die hard pantser, she even managed to make plotting lessons understandable to me. (Anyone who knows me, will realize the miracle she accomplished!) Not quite convinced I will use them yet, but at least now I know WHY they work for others. If nothing else, I will use the spirit of the lessons to focus my writing and make it cleaner (No sagging middles here!)
Because of above mentioned class, I have been deep in rearranging, rewriting and revisions. Thanks to the lessons and suggestions, I am seeing my MS in a whole new light.
Having something you thought was mostly complete suddenly appear with holes that look like the chicken pox is a rude slap on the keyboard. But even as the holes appeared, she was there with suggestions and examples that spurred a flurry of ideas on how to fix them.
Revisions commenced. And continue. And spawned new changes…sigh.
CHANGE IS GOOD!
For anyone just starting revisions,tape that to your Monitor/Wall/Forehead (For your forehead you may want to write it backwards so you can read it in the mirror – just saying). As you begin, you will tentatively agree with it, then stoutly refute it (often with four-letter words attached) and by the end will wonder why you ever doubted it.
The changes have been daunting and in some cases frustrating. That said, what is coming out is better, stronger, and worth every hair pulling moment I am putting into it. (Having short hair keeps me from being totally bald at this point so I thank the Spirits for that quirk of fate.)
I have been reading a flurry of new books, something I have forgotten to make time for previously. I thought in some respects, my time should be spent plowing through my revisions, but I learned yet one more lesson.
Sometimes, you need to change your view.
Revisions can be frustrating. You begin to hate the book you once loved, even as you lovingly fix glaring errors that you know are going to make it better. Taking the time to read something, helps break you out of that funk and recharges you.
I have been been reading genres that I have never tried before and finding some wonderful gems that I never knew existed.
I read to escape, but meanwhile a little part of my brain is analyzing the story.
- Ooh that dialogue sequence was good.
- Wow, I should have figured out that ending from the earlier clues!
- Sweet romance, how did the author get me so hooked?
- Hmm, did I get that <enter plot item here> in my MS?
I finish the chapter (hopefully the book was engaging enough to make me finish the whole thing) and go back to my revisions feeling renewed.
Suddenly that block is gone. The section I had been fighting with, flows across the page effortlessly. The hero gets the girl and it feels real, not forced.
Reading might just help you write. It did me. A trick I only recently learned.
So there are my 3 reasons. I will endeavor to be better about posting. But for now, revisions call.
For now, I am happy to answer!