Sunday, February 20, 2011

Back From My Writing Break!

After three weeks off of writing (except for the late night synopsis marathon), I'm writing again. The break was great, but writing is even better!

I packed up my MacBook and headed to Barnes and Noble to work at the Starbucks. It was good to be spending a Sunday at one of my favorite places.

I'm working on my second novel, The Fields, but I've approached these revisions in an unusual way. It's been over five months since I've really spent a lot of time on it. I had to put it aside while I got Canary into shape for it's second round of submissions. Today, instead of just jumping right back into it, which would be next to impossible to me, I did something that many might think is crazy.

I printed it out, put it in a binder and I'm typing it all over again from the start. All 180+ pages of it!


Crazy, right?

Maybe, but it's the only way I can really get back into the story. And I figure I'll make revisions along the way. I have hand written sheets that I can now add more seemlessly into the book now too.


I really think that it will help. I was able to type for a long time and feel like I've disconnected from my old book and am now immersed in this one. Yay!

What about you? Are there crazy methods that you have used when you're writing?

14 comments:

Raquel Byrnes said...

I have to reread the entire manuscript before I do revision. I write contemporary romantic suspense...so 90K words and over takes me into the 400 page realm. Start to finish is the only way I'm sure I have the entire picture in my head.


Just popped on over to introduce myself as a fellow crusader and new follower. I'm off to try challenge # 1 now!

KT said...

I love printing the whole thing out. It's kind of a pain, but totally worth it in the long run. I do my major plot hole revisions (after many little, random ones) on the computer, and then print it out for the last run through to mark errors. Hard copies are great :)

Constance said...

oohh printing it out is certainly NOT crazy. I shall be doing the same thing. When i get mine to a finished first draft. I will spend the money and get it printed. I find it easier to read that way. SORRY TREES i will plant a new one for you i promise.

I shall see the problems better that way. I think it changes your perspective. If you write on the computer screen it is your work and you are anxious to fiddle with it.

BUT

If it is in print form in front of you, you can put your teacher goggles on and read it from an editing point of view. Pen in hand so you can 'see' the edits rather than just change them. i LOVE my red pen.

I have a list next to my edit each line has a different thing to look out for. So each 'read' i am looking at something else.

ie
Plot follow through
Character development
Chapter open/close
Tension and conflict
AVOID PASSIVE verbs
variable sentence length and structure
Speech tags
Formatting
finally spelling

I cross them out as i go sometimes i group them together.

For the editing ones i normally only do chapter at a time. The plot ones i need to do as a whole book read.

anyway that's my method. Am writing a post on this at the moment. Should be publishing it in the next few days.

good luck, it must be nice to print it and see that it is real

Constance
Crusader groups 6 & 7
http://precociousscribe.blogspot.com/

Aleeza said...

i think hard copies are awesome. typing it all back again might be arduous, but it might help you make the story a lot better. good luck! :)

J.L. Campbell said...

Wow. Typing it all out sounds like a major time drain. I read though and make adjustments to the ms as I go. What I've started to do recently is print out the chapters according to characters - if I have more than one MC and read them in sequence to get rid of repetition, etc.

Kristan said...

I have yet to do that major of a rewrite, but several of my professors have suggested that one of the better ways to do it. Good luck!

Michael Offutt said...

What is it that you like about the Barnes & Noble? It seems crowded to me whenever I go there.

Theresa Milstein said...

Hi. I'm a crusader too!

Stephen King says to put manuscripts away for at least three weeks before revising. It gives us new perspective.

I don't know if I've done anything unusual when it comes to revising. I picked up an old manuscript after years to see if I could fix it, but another story called to me so I stopped after several chapters.

Margo Kelly said...

I like to print the whole thing out. I know it takes paper, but it gives you a fresh perspective on the words.

I'm a fellow crusader and new follower - nice to meet you.

Gina Blechman said...

Nothing too crazy. I gave myself a few month break to refresh my mind. I printed it out, because I find it's easier to find mistakes in printed copies. Your way sounds like it could work really well. It will cause you to really think about what you're doing and prevent you from just skimming over the lines. Cool idea

<3 Gina Blechman (fellow crusader)

Kari Marie said...

I'm a three ring binder girl myself so I can relate! I am planning to print mine out and place it in the notebook I've kept all my research for the book etc. Everything all in one place.

Julie Musil said...

I'm so glad that's helping you! I've printed my novel and read through it like a book, but I didn't think to re-type it. I've retyped picture books by other authors though, and it really does give you a feel for the pacing. Good luck with your revisions!

Matthew Rush said...

I've been doing something similar for months, although mine involves a POV switch too. It's really cool, but incredibly time consuming.

Miss Macchiato said...

I also love the hard copy thing. I print it out, and get my red pen.

It's especially great for cutting word count, since putting a red line through huge chunks of text is very satisfying.

I find that makes it easier to see the whole novel as one complete story, rather than a mish mash of chapters. :)