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View Full Version : What is a way to keep going on?



Luciamaria
01-26-2012, 05:28 AM
When you write the first draft of your manuscript, it is really hard to pull through, especially toward the middle. I managed to finish the entire first draft, and now I'm rewriting it, bettering it, editing it, repairing things, setting things right. I'm about an eighth of the way through on this bettered copy and I'm feeling discouraged again.

For the sake people who have similar problems too, what can be done to overcome this? There is forcing yourself, and you gradually get involved with what you are writing despite the reluctance at first. This can be painful and takes a lot of perseverance.

A penny for your thoughts!

PS - Dr. Gonzo, I tried to highlight it and I don't think it exactly worked. Oops. I hope we all like orange.

Maryn
01-26-2012, 06:13 AM
Luciamaria, what works for me (and might work for you--or might not) is to create distance. I put the novel away, a month for every 20K words. During that time, I can think about it all I want, write myself notes of things to check, change, delete, whatever, but I cannot look at it, much less revise it.

Four to six months later, I see it with different eyes, as if someone else wrote it. I see what's pretty good about it, and what totally isn't working. Then I can revise it, knowing what I need to do and seeing it make real improvements. This helps me maintain my confidence that I'm making it better.

Maryn, pretty sure you can do this, even if my way isn't how

Michael Davis
01-26-2012, 06:22 AM
Like Maryn noted, I do the same. At any one time I have 2 or 3 novel scripts working and a couple short stories. I find the diversion of moving to another fictional world when I get stalled refreshes my perspective. I return a month or so later and the sparkles fly again, along with new ideals that have fermented in my brain since I left.

Libbie
01-26-2012, 06:54 AM
I go wander around my favorite shoe store and look at all the awesome shoes I can't afford. I remind myself that if I don't finish and sell a book I'll never get to have super-awesome shoes.

It works very well for me.

buz
01-26-2012, 07:22 AM
Every night in your dreams, you see it, you feel it. That's how you know to go on. And even far across the distance, in spaces between you, you've got to show you go on...

And, well, you know the rest.

I think what Maryn said is probably the best thing. Personally, I am way too impatient to set something aside for six months on purpose, but at least a couple weeks. A couple days, even. Something. At some point your eyes glaze over and you can't recognize anything or remember what you changed or what you said five pages ago, and then you're next to useless to yourself anyway.

If you have to keep writing, but need a break from that manuscript, you could start on something else--but you then run the risk of not coming back to the first thing because you're caught up in the second. ;) Or not. Whichever. Just remember to come back sometime...

Eli Hinze
01-26-2012, 07:30 AM
For the first draft of writing, I just push through it until the entire thing is done. For editing, I put it away for a while until I drag it back out. Like others said in the posts above, it refreshes your take on things.

Lady MacBeth
01-26-2012, 07:30 AM
Like Maryn noted, I do the same. At any one time I have 2 or 3 novel scripts working and a couple short stories. I find the diversion of moving to another fictional world when I get stalled refreshes my perspective. I return a month or so later and the sparkles fly again, along with new ideals that have fermented in my brain since I left.

This works for me too. I return to the novel more excited than I left it.:)

gothicangel
01-26-2012, 12:31 PM
I'm sitting at draft three at the moment, and looking back I think the first draft was the easiest. Not that it wasn't challenging it its own way, but it flowed. Draft #2 was hellish from about the 20,000 mark to the last word. And draft #3 is stuck is a new Holly-Lisle/checking historical accuracy type hell.

The next stage is seeking critiques, which I'm sure will put me into a whole new kind of hell. ;)

Phaeal
01-26-2012, 07:08 PM
I think of Yoda saying, "Do or do not -- there is no try."

No way I'm letting that little green syntactically-challenged noodge sigh and shake his head at ME....

scarletpeaches
01-26-2012, 08:50 PM
I don't leave the novel at all before I edit it. I hate editing in the sense of "It's boooooring," so I get it over with as quickly as possible. Going over an entire novel usually takes me about a week. I speed-edit (though with precision of course) so I don't have time to get bored and whiny and "But I don't wanna," about it.

My philosophy? The only way out is through.

randi.lee
01-26-2012, 08:56 PM
I agree with going away and coming back fresh-minded. When you return it's like a brand new novel!

elindsen
01-26-2012, 09:02 PM
I agree with what's been said. I start another story, even a short. Have multiple things going on at once. One in edits and one in first draft. That way you can switch when things get boring. Good luck!

Jamesaritchie
01-26-2012, 09:50 PM
Like anything else, you just do it. Enthusiasm is highly overrated. It's like waiting for inspiration to strike before you sit down to write. Sounds good, but it almost guarantees failure.

You write when it's time to write, inspired or not, and you edit/rewrite when it's time to edit/rewrite, enthusiastic or not.

Just do it.

thethinker42
01-26-2012, 10:03 PM
Like anything else, you just do it. Enthusiasm is highly overrated. It's like waiting for inspiration to strike before you sit down to write. Sounds good, but it almost guarantees failure.

You write when it's time to write, inspired or not, and you edit/rewrite when it's time to edit/rewrite, enthusiastic or not.

Just do it.

QFT.

Rhoda Nightingale
01-27-2012, 03:56 AM
I'm with Scarlett. If I put a half-finished novel aside because I'm stuck, it stays aside indefinitely. I have to push through.

This is probably why I juggle WIPs. If I'm stuck on one, I bounce to another, but I never leave one alone for more than a day or two until I finish a draft.

Silver-Midnight
01-28-2012, 08:25 AM
You just have to keep going. That's just what I tell myself sometimes. That and when I finish I can say I wrote (enter number of words of manuscript) and feel proud somewhat. (I have a tough time writing long word counts). I'm also in my first draft.