The Soaring Heights of Living in the Writing Realm

book with green background sparkle

Do you know that feeling you get when you’re in the zone? You’ve stepped inside your main character’s world and swam through its tumultuous and rhythmic waves, quenching your thirst in the emotions and conflicts, joys and discoveries of your characters.

Your fingers agilely stamp the keys, and the words soar across the page like a plane boasting its fluttering banner streaking through a clear, azure sky.

sparkling rainbow gif

Ideas, colors, imagination, romance, twists, banter, sensations, explosive climaxes, and redemptive resolutions fall like confetti inside your depthless mind. You sweep them all into a bundle of joy and sprinkle them on the white pages on your story.

Nothing outside this make believe world exists while you’re in the zone.  You saver this moment of complete dedication, imagination, and concentration.  Little more than a nuclear bomb could shake you out of this realm.

But when you emerge smiling, mind clear as glass and heart swelled twice its size, you know writing fiction is your destiny.

Capture this moment again and again by reading over your work in progress’s chapters. It fuels the creative flame inside of you.

 

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Revising Once, Revising Twice…Going, Going…Keep Going! It’s Worth it

Michener-rewriting

How many times have you revised your novel before you think it’s in pristine shape for the publishing process?  A dozen times?  Fifty times? A hundred times? There’s no end, right? It feels that way often.

Author, Roald Dahl, says of this subject, “By the time I am nearing the end of a story, the first part will have been reread and altered and corrected at least one hundred and fifty times. I am suspicious of both facility and speed. Good writing is essentially rewriting. I am positive of this.”

So, how many times have I revised my stories?  I’m not really sure.  Perhaps a dozen times total? Teetering on the barely-broken-in writing scale. But it’s all good.  Some writers may not need to revise their work dozens or hundreds of times.

With that said, I’m back to revising my novel, Passage of Promise.  Yes, my first novel I wrote back in 2015.  I’m back at it after the last editing, proofing, and editorial suggestions from my editor (second round?).

show don't tell book cover

Since reading through half of the Understanding Show, Don’t Tell (And Really Getting It) book so far…and I will finish it soon…I truly do understand it for the most part and can see the difference in my sentences and wording through my latest revisions.  I’m strengthening my scenes, character traits, and dialogue.

But I must admit.  A part of me has this urge to turn the story on its head, change it up drastically. Yet, another part of me says don’t jump in the deep, murky water.  You’ll get pulled into the endless, bottomless sea.

I’ve got to resist the waves of temptation and focus on making the story sharper, deeper, and stronger with the plot, characters, and scenes posing in proud, unique form on the stage of my make-believe world.

I may have to run it through the critiquing group again, which means my thirty-nine chapters will travel through the queue for the next few months, but it’s worth it.

My editor said it wouldn’t hurt. People’s feedback may give me a different direction or new ideas, and of course, in the critique realm, I take some of the suggestions that work and discard others that don’t.

I heard some authors have spent five to ten years on one book.  That’s a huge chunk of time, but when you want your work to be its best, three, five, or even ten years may be in order.  J.R.R. Tolkien labored twelve years on his book, Lord of the Rings, before it was published.

lord of the rings wizard book cover

I don’t think it’ll take ten or twelve years to finish my novel, especially since my novel has considerably less words than Tolkien’s sequel to The Hobbit. Also, in my case, a stressful deadline doesn’t exist, whereas it does for some others.

This fresh return to my novel fell on the heels of my novella’s (Mourning Dove) feedback journey through my critique group the past several weeks, counting this one and next week.  I’ll then collect all the comments, remarks, suggestions and work on revising it.

What made me delve back into the revision process of my stories? I am presently reading a book by my muse, Jodi Picoult. THANK YOU, JODI!  Keep writing! 🙂

What are you working on, how long have you been working on it, and what’s your average number of revisions?

 

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Bogged Down in the Mechanics and Rules of Writing?

help key pic

Do you feel like all the writing rules are killing your creativity and ability to write?  If so, this blog post by Lauren Sapala is a must read:

 

STUCK WITH YOUR STORY? WHY YOU KEEP HITTING WALLS AND DEAD ENDS IN YOUR WRITING

For the longest time I had major problems doing revisions on my writing. It seemed so easy for everyone else. Why was it so hard for me? Of course, I also had trouble writing. I hardly ever experienced that state of “effortless flow” everyone talked about, in which the words just magically spewed out of me down onto the page. For years—a lot  of years—I felt like something was wrong with me. I felt like I was a failure as a writer.

Then, I discovered something.

It wasn’t that there was something wrong with me, it was that the way I approached my writing was all wrong. Traditional writing wisdom set out a bunch of rules that didn’t help me, that I knew. But what I didn’t realize was that traditional writing wisdom had also implanted a mindset within me that was completely distorted, a skewed perspective that didn’t fit at all into my personal growth as an artist.

For the rest, go here.

 

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