writing

When a technique doesn’t work

As mentioned in my last post, this has turned into a rewrite, not a revision. I thought all that meant was a lot of writing in longhand in my spiral notebook that I’ve used for every revision from Shining Armor (abt. 2013) on.

My Muse rebelled.

There’s no other way to say it. I wrote out the majority of a new scene and it was crap. And that’s the first time that’s happened. Usually, I can say, “Well, I may not like it now, but in the morning, it’ll look different.” Or sometimes I’ll feel comfortable just letting it stand, no matter how I feel about its quality.

But this felt wrong.

So, just to keep myself busy, I went into Scrivener and started rearranging scenes so they fit my new outline. I realized I could put in a transition that would smooth out one part. Then I saw a place where I could merge two scenes. Before I knew it, I was not doing a full-on revision, but I was at least working and I loved what was happening.

In other words, I discovered that, for me, a rewrite is a different animal from a revision.

If I tell my Muse we’re going to be rewriting, my Muse, it seems, fully expects to be in the same environment (or close thereto) that it used to create the first draft. It expects to be in an environment that’s meant for creation.

Revision, on the other hand, is double-checking scenes, making sure there’s continuity, testing the strength of the dialogue, and so on and so forth. There’s creativity, but it comes in bursts, in small pieces. Not the whole cloth stuff I’m doing now.

So, it looks like I’m still going to be doing a revision after this to fix and clean-up. But this new creature I’m working on now is going great, all because I gave up a tool that I’ve been using for a few years now.

In line with that, I’m considering putting up each scene as I finish on Google Docs in pdf format. I’d put a link here, and you can read each portion as it goes up.

It would still be rough/unedited. But it would give those who are curious a chance to see what it is I’m doing.

Let me know what you think and I’ll think about it, too.

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2 thoughts on “When a technique doesn’t work

  1. Thanks for the suggestion! I’ve thought about it. A lot. Also, putting the new version on FictionPress.com and labeling the old one what it is: a rough draft. I may still do it (it makes sense!), but if I do, I want to have a decent cover together. Wattpad, from what I’ve seen, has some really nice cover art on the stories posted. I think that’s part of why my brief little excerpt I originally posted there last year from The Castle in the Story didn’t do too well. It wasn’t branded properly, so the YA crowd passed it over. (Not the whole reason, but a big part.)

    But yes, lots of thought given on this, and I’m glad you brought it up. Thank you!

  2. Have you thought of putting each chapter up on Wattpad as you work through your edits, as well as on Google Docs? You could build your reader list as the same time. 🙂
    However, I have not used Wattpad, so unsure of the reader age groups, and whether suitable for your story/genre.

Thoughts?

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