Saturday, October 22, 2005

I got my BIC and did some WIP, should I SYW??

It's been a long week. I'm a word person vs. a numbers person. I've spent a very large number of hours lately working with Excel spreadsheets and it leaves me exhausted. I could write for hours, compose web content, do presentation slides, write emails and feel a only a fraction as whipped at the end.

I think it's the whole right brain/left brain thing. The side of my brain that owns writing and creativity is dominant and sending impulses through those synapses is easy; they're well oiled and offer little resistance. When I have to use the side of my brain that knows how to figure out a percentage or remembers what 6x7 is the impulses are fighting thru less used passages and often looking for the exit sign that leads to "let us read that science fiction book instead!" *sigh*

More on re-writes. I appreciate the advice in the comments to my last post. Perhaps a little extra detail about the process would clarify what I mean by re-writes. I'm not just tweaking the same stuff over and over (although there are some bits of that happening).

I started writing it from a prompt on AW. The first draft was 965 words whipped out in a very short time. I gave this to my Signf. Other. He said it sucked. Gave me some very good reasons why, that (I know you're reading this Mumford) I appreciated and started working with right away.

Next draft the next day 1412 words. Next draft 1798 words, then 1814 words, then back down to 1748. It's been a week since I started this and it still needs something. On one Sunday I did a draft in the moring which took me to 2018 words. Later that night I'm up to 2435. I'm starting to get really interested in making this story work. I'm also getting interested in it not just being a short story. I might have to change the opening. I might need to work on the POV too which I took from the prompt. Flesh out more characters. More dialogue. More, uh, 'moreness'...

This Wednesday I bring it up to 3018. I call each of these sessions 'a draft' but maybe it's really just a Work In Progress. Because I'm fleshing out the same original story that still has a beginning and an end on the pages I'm writing, I call each iteration 'a draft.'

The document is with Mumford (my S.O's screen name for those of you who don't know him) again and I'm not touching it till I hear what he thinks. If he thinks it has potential (i.e., not crap) and ready for me to get an opinion from someone who knows writing better than he does, I may post it on the Share Your Work thread. Maybe. (yeah, I'm a coward).

I could be lazy and just refer you to Mac's post on the topic, but I'm gonna put in my 2/1oo of a dollar. I had read about orphaned books - changes in a publisher's staff means the books that were being worked by certain people now have a new editor who may have other things they're working on and so a book from the previous regime gets short shrift. Andy Zack is the agent for such a book and from the looks of it, that book deserves attention. I hope you'll go take a look at Andy's post and click through to Amazon for your own copy (I anxiously await mine). Oh, and I think Andy is a really great guy, too. He shares his insider knowledge freely on AW. If you want to know more, visit his thread.


Jill said...

Hi there Dawno! Great stuff in here.

First, I looked at Zack's post about the book and will get it for my father-in-law. He's a History Channel buff - I wonder if Andy Z. might be able to do something with a connection to that channel since they do so much on wars.

Second, about the re-writing, I'm a constant revisionist too. It's tough to stop sometimes and once in a while, I've caught myself overdoing it - where it gets worse. Sometimes, you just have to say, ENOUGH. And end it, not let it get you over a barrel. Then, also try to think about why it kept you so enmeshed - what kept bugging you? what might you have done differently from the start? Is it a topic you just should stay away from?

But in the end, kudos to you for continuing with it. Persistence is one of the top traits of people who feel successful - no matter whether the outer world views them that way (at least, this is what I think!). :)

Joanne D. Kiggins said...

I haven't been in the SYW forum for a month or so. Now you've sparked my interest. I'll have to head over there to see if you did post your writing from the weekly prompt.

Will be checking out Andy's place too.

Thanks for contributing to making both sides of my brain get cracking. :)