PDA

View Full Version : An Inconsistent Writer



SindbadtheSailor
09-19-2005, 10:24 AM
Hi!

My writing is very inconsistent when I'm writing a novel. I am very successful at poetry. When I begin a novel venture, the first few chapters are comparitively better than the later ones. Is there a way or philosophy for a writer to be consistent throughout? It may have to do with impatience I think.

Sindbad

Torin
09-19-2005, 02:53 PM
That's what rewrites are for. :) Seriously, no one expects to write a publishable novel in the first draft. Get the whole story out on paper, and then start the revision process (after putting it aside for three months or so and working on something else).

Writing every day is also helpful, although I have to admit I've been slipping a bit on that in that I'm not working on the same WIP every day.

rickdemille
09-19-2005, 06:31 PM
One suggestion I heard, which I don't always follow, is to never re-read your previous work except to get a feel for where you left off. Don't worry about what you wrote, you can fix it if there are problems, just keep looking ahead, moving ahead.

Good luck!

Rick

SindbadtheSailor
09-19-2005, 08:38 PM
Hi!

Thank you for your suggestions and advice.


Seriously, no one expects to write a publishable novel in the first draft. Get the whole story out on paper, and then start the revision process (after putting it aside for three months or so and working on something else).
This is something totally new for me. I always thought not getting everything right was my thing. I'm not trying to compare myself to Homer or Shakespeare or Lewis Carroll but do you think that they, too, didn't get everything right or shall we say their verses in order the first time?


Don't worry about what you wrote, you can fix it if there are problems, just keep looking ahead, moving ahead.

Thank you. But I'm a very curious writer and can't resist re-reading the "brighter chapters", maybe to convince myself that I should go on. Nonetheless, I'll try.

Sindbad

Torin
09-19-2005, 09:58 PM
Hi!

Thank you for your suggestions and advice.


This is something totally new for me. I always thought not getting everything right was my thing. I'm not trying to compare myself to Homer or Shakespeare or Lewis Carroll but do you think that they, too, didn't get everything right or shall we say their verses in order the first time?


Thank you. But I'm a very curious writer and can't resist re-reading the "brighter chapters", maybe to convince myself that I should go on. Nonetheless, I'll try.

Sindbad

Absolutely. Homer probably scratched out his wax tablets and reworked until it was just right. And I'm willing to bet Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, C.S. Lewis, and any other author you care to name went through several rewrites. The point is to get the story out of your head. Some writers prefer to write and rewrite every page until it's perfect, but then, when the plot takes a 90 degree turn they weren't expecting, they have to back and redo some of the earlier work, anyway. For myself, I like to keep on moving forward. I keep a small notebook of relevant information, so I don't forget key character info (oh, yes, the older brother is 3 years older, not 2). When it's done, I leave it alone for at least two months so I can look at it with fresh eyes. If there are parts I find myself skimming over, they come out altogether. If there are parts where I'm asking for more, I put it in. It all works out in the end, but never in the first draft. :)

Chris

SindbadtheSailor
09-20-2005, 05:38 PM
Hi Torin!

Thanks for you reply. The thought of Shakespeare chewing his pen and cursing: "How now, wool-sack, what mutter you?" on not getting it right the first time is quite amusing.

I also agree with you on looking at the manuscript with fresh eyes after a period of time i.e. three months or so. I have experienced that. As you are a professional writer let me ask you a question: After your book is in print, have you ever thought that you could have written it in a better way? I mean, can writers have a change of feeling and opinion after their work is published?

Sindbad

Torin
09-20-2005, 05:48 PM
Hi Torin!

Thanks for you reply. The thought of Shakespeare chewing his pen and cursing: "How now, wool-sack, what mutter you?" on not getting it right the first time is quite amusing.

I also agree with you on looking at the manuscript with fresh eyes after a period of time i.e. three months or so. I have experienced that. As you are a professional writer let me ask you a question: After your book is in print, have you ever thought that you could have written it in a better way?

Sindbad

Well, I'm not making a living at it yet (one of these days), but the answer to your question is: Yes. I'm a much better writer now than I was when I wrote "Angels Among Us", but at the time I stopped the rewrites when I hit the point where I couldn't make it better, only different. NOW, I could probably make it better, but I've got other irons in the fire, so the poor thing will have to languish as it is. It's still a good story, though.

SindbadtheSailor
09-20-2005, 05:59 PM
I stopped the rewrites when I hit the point where I couldn't make it better, only different. NOW, I could probably make it better, but I've got other irons in the fire, so the poor thing will have to languish as it is. It's still a good story, though.


Very true. I visited your website yesterday by the by and want to congratulate you for doing a service of charity to your community. Keep up the great work: book and charity. No, I don't think your old book is languishing, possibly dancing with pride!

Torin
09-20-2005, 06:23 PM
Very true. I visited your website yesterday by the by and want to congratulate you for doing a service of charity to your community. Keep up the great work: book and charity. No, I don't think your old book is languishing, possibly dancing with pride!

Actually, my big moment of pride with "Angels" comes from the fact that it made at least two readers rethink their homophobic stand on gays and lesbians. One reader said to me: I've never understood gays, but I understand Daffyd. The other was 60 years old and had been in the habit of making homophobic jokes, which stopped after he read the book. I've got to do better promotion--it might be able to affect more people. Sales are slow, so I think I'll extend that deadline for Katrina donations. I'd like to send more than a couple of bucks. :)