Long Week

I, unfortunately, have not had the opportunity to write up posts in advance lately.  Well, excepting the mini-series I’m doing about selfishness that is.   As I have not had that opportunity and, of course, since my reserves have been tapped in ways I thought impossible my inspiration has run rather dry.  My usual political activism via facebook discussions has even waned as I pulled myself from my computer a lot this week so I might lay on an ice pack and hope the little one wasn’t in one of his “I’m going to throw all my hard and concussion inducing toys at Mama” moods.  As you can tell – no concussion.  I consider this a victory.

The writing, though, has necessarily been quite slow.  My wip has seen pitifully few words added in the last couple weeks while my kitchen has seen more activity in the last week than it usually sees in a month.  I will say, however, there are a few things I realized I need to do with the current work.  First is a timeline.  I’m a pantser and usually do things pretty linearly, but with the backstory and the necessary movements of a plot driven work I’m finding this to be vital.  It feels a bit too much like doing math homework for me and so I keep putting it off.  Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow!  *sigh*  Second – I think I need to reorder a few events.  That is to say I wrote the “bad guy’s” story a certain way, then decided it didn’t work.  Basically, I made him too evil first and realized there was virtually no way to make the guy sympathetic if I started the story at that point.  THEN I started it off at a more neutral point, gave some of the necessary backstory, then dropped him into slightly worse than neutral, then made him act as the kind of guy I hate and proceeded to give the coup de grace tearjerker history I had known all along he would have.  Yeah, I didn’t like it either.  So a cuttin’ and a pastin’ I went.  It’s better now.  I think.

How do you go about eviscerating your work?  Do you?  How do you KNOW you’ve got things in the best and most effective order?  And, this one is really important, when it’s getting cooler outside do you prefer warm apple cider or hot chocolate with mini marshmallows?

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8 responses to “Long Week

  • Dawn

    I *always* wondered how writers deal with this kinda stuff. I’m in awe!

  • reSource therapy

    You rock Woman! Only organic, unpasturized hot apple cider will do and put a cinnamon stick in the oversized mug first! My idea of heaven. lol

  • Linton

    How do you go about eviscerating your work?
    You don’t! It would be like eviscerating The Holy Grail.

    Do you?
    I have old yellowed paper full of my first attempt before computers. I’m not about to type or even scan it into my computer so it just sits in a box and rots. It is really pathetic, but hey, it is mine, and I sweated blood begetting it.

    How do you KNOW you’ve got things in the best and most effective order?
    You don’t. But that is one of the creative decisions all fiction writers must make.

    And, this one is really important, when it’s getting cooler outside do you prefer warm apple cider or hot chocolate with mini marshmallows?
    I’m a pig and of course I would like both. But not at the same time.

    Ciao, Diva. I’m glad you found me.

  • Carol Kilgore

    I just wing it. Seems like every situation is different. I ‘know’ by a little niggling doubt that settles in my head. It may not make any sense, but if it’s there I know there’s a problem.

  • DarcKnyt

    What I do is, make sure I’ve got plenty of distance from the piece. Time does this very well, I’ve found. Then I make sure I’ve written plenty of words since the completion of the last one. Short stories and #fridayflash entries work well here. Next, when I start missing the piece and the characters, I open it up, start reading and look at how much doesn’t really need to be there.

    Slash! Hack! Slit! Chop!

    That’s how I took a 87K word manuscript down to less than 30K over the course of about a week.

    Now, if you’d ask how I go about REPAIRING the eviscerated work, I’d be here going “OH MY GOSH! I HAVE NO IDEA!! ALL IS LOST! DOOMANDDESPAIR!!”

  • Hart

    Sorry for the real life stress and strain on creativity! I ALWAYS write with a time line. I LIKE timelines. (I like math)–the timeline is my version of an outline, so I don’t mess up details. I only actually outline a couple chapters ahead.

    As for the REDO though… My PLAN… (I’ve only done one serious work that has been rewritten, though I did that a few times, but I am not happy with the process, so I am starting fresh for the next few… yes, few… I’ve written 7 books, which mean 6 need serious cleaning, though only 3 are in serious contender spots for ‘next’–first, the one I AM working on because I have a deadline… so this is the plan:

    1st: basic clean so I don’t make myself nuts on step 2
    2nd: READ IT, taking notes to write the synopsis and taking notes on problems I notice (this would catch that too evil villain)
    3rd: WRITE the synopsis
    4th: critically evaluate at a synopsis level… what would make the GRAND PLOT better, FIX IT.
    5th: cut and paste (and write) so it’s all there in the right order
    6th: Next round of ‘ordinary edit’ to clean up transition stuff
    7th: out of order read so each scene is as strong as possible
    8th: polish.

    Probably my critique group is getting it after step 6. I am currently almost finished with the first on my Cozy Mystery.

  • sara

    I’m a crafter, not a writer, but undoing complicated work is painful and if I can smush things together to make it work without undoing it all then that’s what I do. It does not produce high quality work, however, and I suspect my skill would improve if I were willing to sacrifice more.

    Real hot chocolate with real whipped cream, not too sweet.

  • Lua

    ” Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow!”
    haha I love this- this should be my motto! 🙂
    “How do you KNOW you’ve got things in the best and most effective order?”
    I don’t… I usually go with my intuitions. And my intuitions say that you should go with hot chocolate with mini marshmallows 😉

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