AP:It is Football season.
Get Ready to Fumble
As you write your first draft you may fumble through it, but when you revise/rewrite your work:
1. Do you have a play-by-play method for revising/polishing your work in order to reach the goal line?
2. Or, do instincts kick in and tell you when you have made a touchdown? In other words, how do you know when it's just right?
Fumbling through a first draft is an apropos analogy. Since I’m a “pantser,” I do have to feel my way through, sometimes missing altogether and some days running down the field for a touchdown. (I love those days!)
Since I was trained in journalism, I tend to write spare the first time through and then have to go back and “flesh out” the characters and storyline. I’ve come to realize, in a way, that is my outline. I am getting better about developing character and emotion with each book though.
I value the critique groups I’ve belonged to. The feedback I receive helps me to stay on course better and develop my characters more as I go along. Sometimes I will go back right away and do rewrites on that feedback, but most often I save most of it until I’m done with the first draft. Then I go back through the entire manuscript and make changes, based on my critique partners’ suggestions, maybe do some additional research and reading.
I think this method helps me, because I have had a little distance from the work, and can see it with a somewhat more objective, critical eye. Some writers it helps them get started writing again each day to do revisions first, but some get bogged down in the rewrites if they do them as they go along, especially if they are perfectionists. (“I HAVE to get the grammar and punctuation down right before I go on.” Or “This section of dialogue just doesn’t sound right.”) I like to tell beginning writers to just get in down on paper (or on the screen), you can and will go back and change it. My favorite quote about writing is from Hemingway: “There are no great writers, only great rewriters.”
Then, when I’ve finished that rewrite, I usually turn it over to a Beta reader to go through it again. I have a fellow writer who is great at looking at the “big picture” and doesn’t hesitate to tell me where I’ve strayed from the theme or fumbled with the direction the character is going.
After I’ve submitted the manuscript to my publisher, their editor goes through it and I may have to do another rewrite, at least on some portions of it.
Each writer has his/her own way of revision and you have to do what works best for you. This is my method and seems to be the “right” way for me.
Heidi M. Thomas
Visit her Website
Read Heidi's BLOG
COWGIRL DREAMS, (EPIC Award Winner)
FOLLOW THE DREAM, (WILLA Literary Award Winner)
The Author in all of us
There is a story inside. One that needs out and to be read by others. It's there and now it's time for it to flow from author to the reader. Join us as we celebrate Indie authors.