(This is a mirror site of my webpage karenjcarlisle.com)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sentences and Segues.

This week I have been trying to fight procrastination and face edits and rewrites for Chapter 2 of my steampunk manuscript. Though the edit/rewrite stage is frustrating, and mind-wringing on occasion, it is necessary to polishing the final story. While not my favourite part of the writing process, it does bring a fantastic feeling of accomplishment when it is done and at a ‘ready to be read’ stage. (I have a couple of trustee proof readers who give me great feedback.) Until then, I continue to forge ahead, trying to improve on the first draft (or the vomit phase).

First there is editing. Sometimes it is akin to pulling teeth – without anaesthetic.  During this year I have gradually found it less painful to cull words, phrases or sentences. (Though I still sometimes regress into a indecisive mess. ) Sometimes I get too attached to a phrase or sentence (or I just like the way it sounds). Even though I adore it, it may not fit the story line or the character –  or just does not make sense.  Sigh.

Intellectually, I know that I should probably not get too attached to my first drafts but must steel myself to making that editorial cut.  Ah, but I have a cheat!

I have One box to hoard them all, and in my weakness, find them. Well, actually it is two A4 sized cardboard boxes of a lovely lilac shade. I have a plethora of handwritten notes, excerpts and ideas filed away for future revisitations.

For writing in electronic form, I have a file marked ‘Ideas and Inspirations’. I also make use of the snapshot feature of my Scrivener programme – ensuring that I have a retrievable copy of my first (and following) drafts… just in case.

Rewrites are still a learning process. I am learning about points of view, restructuring of sentences and improving the sentence order for segues.  I am also learning that economy of words does not equate to holding back on information. I am allowed to make things more obvious, slow down the pace and elaborate more on the character, in a more Victorian writing style. (which I took as a compliment as I prefer this style for my steampunk!) Not quite permission to waffle though.

I should really go and do some more rewriting… Maybe after another cup of tea?

Sentences and Segues.

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