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icerose
10-13-2009, 04:47 PM
Hi, my name is Sara, and I have rewriting avoidance disorder. RAD for short. (Yes I made that up!) It has been four days since I was told to do a rewrite and...I haven't touched it yet.

I have a novel that's been waiting for a full edit since August. *Hangs head in shame.*

(Am I the only person who avoids rewriting and editing like the plague preferring to just write, but eventually forces self to do it?)

kct webber
10-13-2009, 04:54 PM
You're not the only one, no. :o

scarletpeaches
10-13-2009, 04:57 PM
Just to be contrary...:D

No, really. Am I one of the few who loves editing? To me it's a piece of piss. The hard work's already done. Story's down, all I've gotta do is tighten and tidy it.

Just me then.

Okay.

*slinks off*

Phantom Writer
10-13-2009, 04:57 PM
Nope- you are definitely not alone. However, I have to say I found motivation to start working on my rewrites by reading through the other stories here. ;)

thethinker42
10-13-2009, 04:59 PM
Just to be contrary...:D

No, really. Am I one of the few who loves editing? To me it's a piece of piss. The hard work's already done. Story's down, all I've gotta do is tighten and tidy it.

Just me then.

Okay.

*slinks off*

Yes, it's just you. I hate editing. Well, okay, I don't hate it, but I don't particularly relish it either. I'd rather write.

That said, when I'm having an "off" day with whatever first draft I'm working on at a given time, editing another manuscript for a day is a nice diversion. So it has its pluses and minuses.

stormie
10-13-2009, 05:01 PM
You're definitely not the only one who has RAD. One time I was so sick of looking at the manuscript and rewriting it, but had to get it in within two months time. I did something I hardly ever do anymore (save the trees and all that). I printed out a hard copy but left wide margins all around. This way I left the laptop or desktop, went out to the porch with a pencil, and had at it. The margins allowed me to make copious notes. The pencil allowed for erasures. By getting away from staring at a screen, I was able to see the ms. in a new light, so to speak.

By the way, I have MGD (Multiple Genre Disorder).

icerose
10-13-2009, 05:07 PM
Haha Stormie! I definitely have MGD and I have MWIPS (Multiple work in progress syndrom) I can never work on one piece!

I love printing out pieces and working it that way, problem is cost. We haven't had a printer in ages and when we do, the thought of paying 20 dollars for an ink cartridge. Ouch!

Scarlet, you lucky thing you! To me writing is the fun exciting part, editing is the trudging horrible penalty for completing a book. I once put off finishing a book for almost a year because I knew it would need some heavy work. How sad is that?!

I am very glad I'm not the only one, now I need to get on this draft and get it going, people are waiting for it.

scarletpeaches
10-13-2009, 05:10 PM
Scarlet, you lucky thing you! To me writing is the fun exciting part, editing is the trudging horrible penalty for completing a book. I once put off finishing a book for almost a year because I knew it would need some heavy work. How sad is that?!We should swap brains. I'm a ballhair away from finishing this first draft and it's going...so...slowly...

When I'm editing, I reason, "Story's done, I know what I need to do, everything's in front of me, let's go."

When I'm writing, most of the time I don't outline, so I don't know what I'm doing. When I do outline, even then, it's like...all that work ahead of me. BLARG.

I need tt42's work ethic to rub off on me. Getting there. It's only been a year since our unholy alliance turned into a book factory. :ROFL:

thethinker42
10-13-2009, 05:11 PM
I need tt42's work ethic to rub off on me. Getting there. It's only been a year since our unholy alliance turned into a book factory. :ROFL:

Well, you're outlining, and you write dirty stuff...so I'm definitely rubbing off on you. :D

Noah Body
10-13-2009, 05:24 PM
Hi, my name is Sara, and I have rewriting avoidance disorder. RAD for short. (Yes I made that up!) It has been four days since I was told to do a rewrite and...I haven't touched it yet.

I have a novel that's been waiting for a full edit since August. *Hangs head in shame.*

(Am I the only person who avoids rewriting and editing like the plague preferring to just write, but eventually forces self to do it?)

I hear you...got notes from an extremely productive beta, and have only just scratched the surface with rewrites. :D

Tracey Bentley
10-13-2009, 05:27 PM
Just to be contrary...:D

No, really. Am I one of the few who loves editing? To me it's a piece of piss. The hard work's already done. Story's down, all I've gotta do is tighten and tidy it.

Just me then.

Okay.

*slinks off*

Actually, this is me to a tee.

icerose
10-13-2009, 05:29 PM
I hear you...got notes from an extremely productive beta, and have only just scratched the surface with rewrites. :D

That's me, and I feel really bad. I feel like I'm not appreciating the feedback I get because I put it off so much, but honestly without that feedback I'd be lost in the whole rewriting/editing arena. It's like I'm dishonoring the time others put into my work or something when I put it off.

Scarlet, if you could find a way to make me like editing/rewriting I would love you forever.

DeleyanLee
10-13-2009, 05:31 PM
Hi, my name is Sara, and I have rewriting avoidance disorder. RAD for short. (Yes I made that up!) It has been four days since I was told to do a rewrite and...I haven't touched it yet.

I have a novel that's been waiting for a full edit since August. *Hangs head in shame.*

(Am I the only person who avoids rewriting and editing like the plague preferring to just write, but eventually forces self to do it?)

Only since August? Only a few days?

I have a book I finished in 1981 that I haven't rewritten yet. Actually, I have about 20 finished first draft novels that I haven't rewritten. In fact, I'm NOT going to rewrite any of them. Ever. Period. Rose, you haven't even begun to avoid rewriting yet.

Rewriting isn't fun or easy--unlike writing. It requires a set of skills that I didn't want to learn for a looooong time because I have zero talent for rewriting and it's HARD and I hated it. Took me a long time to get over myself, so now getting it right is even harder because I have to occasionally re-get over myself.

It's worth the effort. The novel I'm working on now is probably the best thing I've ever written in all my decades--and I'm liking it even better now. Do the work, learn the skills. It really is worth it.

icerose
10-13-2009, 05:34 PM
Only since August? Only a few days?

I have a book I finished in 1981 that I haven't rewritten yet. Actually, I have about 20 finished first draft novels that I haven't rewritten. In fact, I'm NOT going to rewrite any of them. Ever. Period. Rose, you haven't even begun to avoid rewriting yet.

Rewriting isn't fun or easy--unlike writing. It requires a set of skills that I didn't want to learn for a looooong time because I have zero talent for rewriting and it's HARD and I hated it. Took me a long time to get over myself, so now getting it right is even harder because I have to occasionally re-get over myself.

It's worth the effort. The novel I'm working on now is probably the best thing I've ever written in all my decades--and I'm liking it even better now. Do the work, learn the skills. It really is worth it.

Those two have *only* been that long because I try to force myself to keep up with things.

Though I do have much older novels that I'm not quite sure to do with or they have painful associations *cough* PA *cough* and I just can't see to put my heart into those. So I work on new projects and try to force myself to do those. I think my publishing/production goals are the only things that get me to rewrite.

Wired
10-13-2009, 11:51 PM
We should swap brains. I'm a ballhair away from finishing this first draft and it's going...so...slowly...

When I'm editing, I reason, "Story's done, I know what I need to do, everything's in front of me, let's go."

I'm a lot like SP when it comes editing. Writing a first draft takes me forever, but once it's all down on paper (or screen) then I can have fun whipping everything into shape. I always look forward to the revision process. I think that's what gets me through the first draft phase--I so badly want to go back and clean it all up.

For me, first draft is just step one in the creation process. Revising is where all the magic happens.

aadams73
10-14-2009, 12:23 AM
I love rewrites and edits! That's where I get to work all my magic. I can shape the story how I want--pull some elements forward, push others back, strengthen theme, etc.

I love sculpting that second draft.

icerose
10-14-2009, 12:25 AM
All my magic actually happens in the first draft. After that it's just sanding. Who likes sanding?

aadams73
10-14-2009, 12:30 AM
All my magic actually happens in the first draft. After that it's just sanding. Who likes sanding?

I love sanding, especially once you get down to the real fine grits and the wood feels like satin to the touch.

scarletpeaches
10-14-2009, 12:59 AM
I look at producing a book not as a series of stop-start drafts or steps along the way, but as one long process. So getting to the editing stage means 'nearly done'.

I don't think, "Oh god, I've got an entire book to rewrite," I say, "This manuscript's nearly ready to send out."

AnonymousWriter
10-14-2009, 01:06 AM
The editing process is way better than the writing process.

For much the same reasons as SP mentioned. You have it all down in front of you. All you have to do is tweak and fix. Seems like heaven to me.

Matera the Mad
10-14-2009, 06:12 AM
I lurve editing, but I have a friend with a bad case of RAD. I keep tellin' her, only cure is a long series of innoculations -- get into it! It is so cool to see one's work in a polished state.

icerose
10-14-2009, 05:23 PM
I lurve editing, but I have a friend with a bad case of RAD. I keep tellin' her, only cure is a long series of innoculations -- get into it! It is so cool to see one's work in a polished state.

I'm trying desperately to psych myself into it. Part of my problem, I think, is that my only real writing time falls after dark when the kids are in bed. By then my head's only clear enough to write stories, I generally type with my eyes closed because I have to sit in a dark room and the contrast makes my eyes water.

During the day there's so much going on all the time and so many people needing me, it's so hard to focus on the editing. Maybe I'll make mini goals. Like today I'll try to do...the first five pages. Yeah!

kct webber
10-14-2009, 05:58 PM
That's probably the way to do it. I put it off, and put it off, and put it off, but once I get started, I really get into it and enjoy it. So maybe just starting with a small goal is exactly the ticket. :)

Cranky
10-14-2009, 08:49 PM
Yes, small goals! But make yourself reach 'em. Reward yourself for success in whatever way that works for you, but that is something that you *really* want.

I love editing, but this is sometimes what I have to do to get the words down. Might work for you, too. :)

Phaeal
10-14-2009, 09:02 PM
Just to be contrary...:D

No, really. Am I one of the few who loves editing? To me it's a piece of piss. The hard work's already done. Story's down, all I've gotta do is tighten and tidy it.

Just me then.

Okay.

*slinks off*

Nope, this is me, too. The first draft's the scary part -- can I find the end, or at least an interim end?

Once I see what I had to say, I can say it much better the second or third or fourth time.

nitaworm
10-14-2009, 09:42 PM
You - are - not - alone. I too suffer from this.

pinocchio
10-16-2009, 01:42 AM
I definitely do the hard work rewriting. First I'll go over and do a couple more drafts organising the material, cutting and pasting, often using a roll of butchers paper and a wall to nut out paragraphs or chapters until they look right. I'll do some exercises to try and overcome the major problems. When I'm reasonably happy with the material to work with, I'll print the whole lot out, open a new file and start typing out the MS again, rewriting the printed version as seems fit (amazing perspective exercise). The MS usually leaps forward in this draft. If I have any good readers on hand, I'll employ them and use their feedback to write another draft. Then I just keep printing it off and scrawling all over it by hand until I'm happy. Sometimes I'll read the manuscript aloud onto a tape and listen to make changes. If I'm really struggling I'll try and write a whole new draft from memory; often the strong points of the plot jump out this way, instead of being lost in a sea of red herrings.

Overall I do about 15 rewrites before I get onto the smaller editing issues. The first draft is always mutton soup for me. But that's just the way I roll and I respect those whose minds are orderly enough to make sense in the first draft. :)

icerose
10-16-2009, 02:40 AM
I tried the recording thing once. It went something like:

As she crept across the cold earth--MOM! She's taking my toy. She pulled my hair first. Mom, can I smack her? No you can't smack your sister. Mom what are you doing, can I color on this? Mom, look at my pretty butterfly...

Ellefire
10-16-2009, 03:00 AM
I need tt42's work ethic to rub off on me. Getting there. It's only been a year since our unholy alliance turned into a book factory. :ROFL:

I want an unholy alliance! I feel I am lacking in this department.

I have a book that is waiting to be rewritten and I am avoiding it. I keep looking at it and thinking 'what if I do it wrong!' and about a hundred other worries excuses.


icerose I tried the recording thing once. It went something like:

As she crept across the cold earth--MOM! She's taking my toy. She pulled my hair first. Mom, can I smack her? No you can't smack your sister. Mom what are you doing, can I color on this? Mom, look at my pretty butterfly...

lmao, mine would go "It was a dark and stormy night... um what? No, the post hasn't come... the car drove down the... leave the dog alone... dark... yes, you can play out if you get changed... road... leave the dog alone... and then... will you two stop prodding each other!" etc.

pinocchio
10-16-2009, 02:40 PM
I tried the recording thing once. It went something like:

As she crept across the cold earth--MOM! She's taking my toy. She pulled my hair first. Mom, can I smack her? No you can't smack your sister. Mom what are you doing, can I color on this? Mom, look at my pretty butterfly...

Har har. I get to experience all that joy from next Feb on.

marie2
10-17-2009, 06:26 AM
You're not alone. I have a novel that's been waited to be edited since December of last year. ~hides~

It's just SO TEDIOUS! And the editing that needs to be done, not to mention the amount of rewriting, is too daunting for me. I am hoping some rewrite fairies take care of it for me.

blacbird
10-17-2009, 07:39 AM
Rewriting is writing, REAL writing. Keep in mind Ernest Hemingway's dictum: The first draft of anything is shit.

caw

MrWrite
10-17-2009, 07:53 AM
Just to be contrary...:D

No, really. Am I one of the few who loves editing? To me it's a piece of piss. The hard work's already done. Story's down, all I've gotta do is tighten and tidy it.

Just me then.

Okay.

*slinks off*

I actually agree here. The hard work is putting something on a blank page. When you're editing you have something to work with. Sure, it's not easy turning that load of tosh into something that's readable but at least you have something to work with rather than starting from scratch.

Richard L. Sutton
10-20-2009, 08:22 PM
I'm on of those who find the initial writing almost like a drug-induced ecstasy. I can dash off an article or story in a matter of hours, then need to take my pulse and be sure my blood pressure hasn't dropped too far. It's the developmental re-writing that gets me. It can apply so much stress and pressure that what was once a lark, is now a grind! No fun at all.

Then there are the typos....

Have any of you switched keyboards in the middle of a novel? It's one of life's more sour experiences. On my first book, I wore the key labels off twice during the editing phases, and the second time, I couldn't get the same KB again, so typos upon typos while editing typos became the norm.

How about re-formatting? For an exhausting exercise in re-writing, try converting a novel written and edited in Word Perfect into an e-book format. There's nothing that will have you tearing out your hair. I just finished a complete re-write caused by those little inconsistencies between software platforms. Much better now. For more infor, if interested, check out my weekly column on Publetariat: Those Old, Mean Reformatting Blues.... (http://www.publetariat.com/leveling-field-indie-curmudgeon/old-mean-re-formatting-blues)

Someday, I hope one of the more gifted software code wonks can find a way for them all to "just get along".

Richard L. Sutton
10-20-2009, 08:23 PM
Rewriting is writing, REAL writing. Keep in mind Ernest Hemingway's dictum: The first draft of anything is shit.

caw

Yes, Mrs. Grimsky...but it's GREAT shit!

scarletpeaches
10-20-2009, 08:26 PM
I actually agree here. The hard work is putting something on a blank page. When you're editing you have something to work with. Sure, it's not easy turning that load of tosh into something that's readable but at least you have something to work with rather than starting from scratch.I edited up to and including p.58 of Book #2 last night and nearly tore my own heart out.

Difficult? No. Boring? Hell yeah.

See, I know what needs to be done, but it's tedious work.

And it doesn't help when you've got tt42 on MSN bragging about whizzing through a complete edit in a matter of days.

That'll teach me to write 125k behemoths...

And then - the synopsis! Deep joy.

MrWrite
10-20-2009, 08:31 PM
The downside with editing is it''s the "honeymoon is over" phase. When you're writing your first draft (this is how I do it anyway) you just write any old thing that comes to your mind so it's easier. Now with the editing you have to come up with the right words, the right phrases to turn your story into a readable book. Yeah I can see where it can get you to tear your hair out but I still say it's easier than staring at a blank page :D

scarletpeaches
10-20-2009, 08:37 PM
And to think earlier I said I 'loved' editing.

I love being that much closer to a finished manuscript, shall we say.

Ack, I probably felt like this while editing Book #1. Then, though, I knew I'd be chopping entire chapters - hell, getting rid of entire characters. With this one, I have all 656 pages to go through. Each chapter is essential, as are all the characters. So I can't console myself by saying, "It looks a lot but you'll end up with 100 fewer pages."

Maybe I will, but I'll have to read through all of them as I go. So it's a lot of work.

Ah well, needs to be done. Maybe yesterday I was just tired. We'll see how it goes this evening.

ETA: Book #1 went from 701 to 435 pages in manuscript format. A difference of 266. :eek:

icerose
10-20-2009, 09:08 PM
My problem is I underwrite. So I have to go back and find more story to tell.

Gregg
10-23-2009, 01:51 AM
I was told that the best way to edit is to re-type the entire book, making changes/corrections/improvements as you go along.
Anybody do this?

MrWrite
10-23-2009, 02:01 AM
I'm just working through each chapter trying to get it right

icerose
10-23-2009, 02:32 AM
I was told that the best way to edit is to re-type the entire book, making changes/corrections/improvements as you go along.
Anybody do this?

Only when I write it by hand first or really screw up the whole story line.

nitaworm
10-23-2009, 06:29 PM
I really hated editing in the beginning. However, from hanging out at AW I realized that the more I edit the better I get at it. Also, now I even beta other's work. It helps me to become a better writer the first time around. Now, I don't have to edit a work 14 times to get it right. Now I edit only about 9 times (smile) which I think is a good number of times for me. I usually need to cut my work down to tighten it.

icerose
10-23-2009, 06:33 PM
Ironically enough I have no problem editing/rewriting other people's work. For example I was hired to rewrite 13 episodes for pay and credit. Didn't have a problem with it and it was rather fun. It's just my own work I have a problem with. Go figure. Probably because doing someone elses work it's fresh and new to me and the problems are much more obvious than in my own work.

Layla Nahar
10-26-2009, 04:37 AM
My problem is I underwrite. So I have to go back and find more story to tell.

sounds similar to me - and I really struggle/suffer on the re-write. (If anybody has some mental metamucil, please share!)

I wish you plenty of productivity, Icerose.



I look at producing a book not as a series of stop-start drafts or steps along the way, but as one long process. So getting to the editing stage means 'nearly done'.

I don't think, "Oh god, I've got an entire book to rewrite," I say, "This manuscript's nearly ready to send out."

ooh I like it. Thank you for that (those) thought(s)