Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Writer Hokie-Pokie

Two steps forward, one step back. Turn yourself around. It's called the Writer Hokie-Pokie. (I know, I know... the other thing is called the hokey-pokey. But this isn't that, so I spelled it different.)

Anyway, I don't know about any of you, but sometimes I have to go back to move forward. Manhunter is waiting on editorial suggestions from my CP and my beta readers. Nano is currently stalled. But I have to work. So what did I do?

I revisited one of my older manuscripts. The much-ignored, but still viable... AWJ. Or as I like to call it 'Justice'. (In case you haven't noticed, I like one word names for my early editions. It makes life easier.) Of course, I was working on it last night, and still skimming over the same old problems.

:::Short attention span moment... Phelps just took gold! Yay! He didn't even look like he was working at it either. Now, back to the actual post:::

Anyway, I think I figured out what my problem was. Sometimes when I'm editing on the computer, I have a tendency to skim. My eyes glaze over and I catch myself just reading the manuscript instead of looking for ways to improve it. The best way to solve the problem is to do what some people dread. I print the whole thing out and then over the course of the next few days (or weeks as the case may be), I red-ink the whole damn thing. Not only that, but I keep a notebook beside me for when my edits won't fit on the page. I have a whole boring system, which I'll spare you from reading about.

Starting tomorrow, I'll be sitting on the couch with my printed manuscript, my handy-dandy notepad, and a red pen - trying to figure out what needs to be adding, what needs to be deleted and whether the story I told is the story I wanted to tell. (And of course, whether I told it in the best way possible.)

I did this in the past with both Spectacle and Caldera. I must've printed out Spectacle a dozen times (which is saying something considering it was 147K words at one point). I even did it with Blink, but after that I went to the cheaper computer-based editing. Personally, I'd rather do it all on the monitor, but that isn't always the best way. Unfortunately, editing on the computer put me in the position I'm in, and the only way out is to go back to the old ways.

Back to the old manuscript. Back to the old methods. Here's hoping that by going back, I can move forward again.

That's it for me tonight, folks. I'm bushed. What do you think about the whole idea of Writer Hokie-Pokie? Ever had to go back to move forward?

Or am I the only nut in the cookie jar?


1 comment:

Travis Erwin said...

I do that all the time.