View Full Version : What's your writing/editing regime?

03-13-2008, 12:58 AM
I'm sure this thread is a carbon body of about a trillion others, but never mind :)

I've struggled with first drafts for a while now, and I tried to take all the sage advice offered to me here. The "first draft ugly" thing. And it worked... for a while. Then I realized I am a better writer when I edit as I go.

Now, I go pieces by pieces (usually chapters) and write, edit, rewrite, etc. It's working :) And yeah, I'll do a load of rewrites later, but this process gets the writing going!

So, my question is: how do you write?

03-13-2008, 01:16 AM
Psst. I think you mean regimen. A regime is something we try to overthrow. :)

I used to write alittle, edit it, write a little, edit it, until I realized I had stopped writing a little and just kept editing the same few pages over and over again.

So now I write until I'm finished and then I start to edit. Oh, sometimes I can't resists a small edit of a few paragraphs, but usually I don't start editing until I've typed, 'The End.'

03-13-2008, 01:24 AM
I read/crit for others during the day and write at night. Every 3000 words or so I send off what I've got to have it critted/looked over. If I get stuck I go back and edit with the critter's recommendations in mind, or things I know I didn't like as I did them. If I get really stuck I find someone to talk plot points with. When the WIP is finished I shelve it for a couple of months and then edit. (Or, in the case of the current WIP, I decide the thing needs an entire rewrite and start again from scratch. Sucks.)

Mr Flibble
03-13-2008, 01:36 AM
I try and write a certain amount each day - usually 5 pages. When I come to the next day, I re-read what I did the day before, and edit as I read. It helps me get back into the story, and gets rid of any glaring errors. I'll still need to do a second draft, but it helps me get rid of the niggles, so I can concentrate on todays work.

03-13-2008, 01:47 AM
About a year ago. I put aside Sundays for writing/editing It works for me and I have pulled together about 23 pieces and poems that I had started over the years. More recently I formed a weekly critique group and the members all keep after each other to get our writing in. There's a big difference knowing you will meet face to face.

03-13-2008, 05:42 AM
I write as the inspiration hits me and usually knock off an article in one sitting. Then I let it sit for a couple of days before returning to it to tighten it up as needed. Some topics come easy the first time around and need hardly any editing. Others (usually an assigned topic I'm not fond of) end up more rough and need more polish. For those, I usually get a crit from someone else, too.

03-13-2008, 07:38 AM
Let's see, I write six pages on most days (sometimes three to five, like today I wrote five). Every fifteen pages I do an edit. It helps mitigate the despair that I feel I might never be able to finish this work from first draft to end draft.

This is my first novel trying this technique. I figure the every-fifteen-pages will count as a first edit, then I'll need about five more to make it. . . passable.

03-13-2008, 08:55 AM
Ooh, this is a tough one. I'm still searching for what 'works' for me. The last novel, I wrote it chapter by chapter. Each chapter was taken as a seperate piece in a way. I would write it, and then edit it and make sure it was perfect.

I don't think that approach worked so well for me. Because in the end when I finished the book, I needed to see the big picture and then I knew what belonged in the book and what needed to be cut or rewritten.

So this time around, I locked my internal editor in the closet because he kept jeering at me that this piece of writing was no good, or that I sucked, or that I needed to go back and fix fix fix. And I'm just writing. I think it works well so far because I've kept up the steam to write every day. In turn, that has made it easier to write a better first draft I think.

Once I'm done, I will do three passes of editing. The first and second will be reading through the story to get a sense of the bigger picture. I'm going to try to ignore the grammar and wording nitpicks as I can either spend all my time fixing nitpicks on passages that might be tossed out entirely, or I can look at the bigger picture and see what needs to be cut and what needs to be rewritten. I think I'll need the first pass to figure out what should be added/cut and the second pass to make sure the additions/cuts work. THEN the third pass will be all nitpicks and with that, I'll make sure everything is polished so it shines.

I suppose I'll let you know when I'm done. (or you'll probably know as I'll then send it through crit_me for review :)

that said, there is nothing wrong with anyone else's methods. I think every writer is different in what works for them.

Linda Adams
03-13-2008, 02:38 PM
I don't think I've ever written something all the way through without editing it as I wrote. I always tweak as I go along. Right now, I'm working on improving my tendency to write short (I leave things out or don't think of them), so I've been forcing myself to think about what I can add. The story itself is divided into sections, with one because it's all in a single setting, about four or five chapters. That way, it stays relatively small, but at the same time, I can work on a related sequence at the same time.

A lot of the revisions throughout have been working to add more conflict between the characters. I'm hoping that by taking my time to work like this that I'll take that knowledge with me into the next section and not write as short.

03-13-2008, 03:39 PM
I write that ugly first draft- all the way to the end, then I go back and I let my internal editor out and let him have at it.

I tried to edit as I go, but it kills my stories and makes my characters mad and I end up losing track of the story- not good- so I learned to just write, then clean it up.

03-13-2008, 03:56 PM
Mine goes something like this:

Sit down at computer, flex fingers and poise over keyboard.
Write a sentence or two.
Delete a sentence or two.
Scream in frustration, fling computer out of the window and go and drink beer instead.

I need a new way to write, it's getting expensive, and it's not especially productive either.