The book signing at Barnes & Noble went well. I was there for a little over two hours, and there was a steady stream of people. The bookstore manager told me that it was the most well received book by a local author that they’ve had in years.
Today, I am attending a writing workshop on “Revision: Beyond the First Draft.” I’m bringing in chapter five of the novel that I’m working on, so I hope that it will be productive. I’ve written a little over 17,000 words so far, and I already have a fair amount of changes that I want to make to the story. I sometimes worry about losing my momentum for finishing the book when I get too caught up in rewrites as I go along.
What is your writing process like? Do you revise as you go along, or do you wait until you’ve completed a story or poem to begin editing and rewriting? Does your process differ for long projects (such as a book) versus shorter projects?
I tend to revise afterwards, after reading a comment by guitarist and famous baldy Joe Satriani, suggesting that the worst thing you can do to your creativity is play critic to what you’re doing as you go along.
I second Stu. I think it is great to go back to something later & look at it with fresh, detached eyes. There were some things I wrote ages ago & thought they were crap, but pulling them out a few years later, I realized they were great. Or, if not great, at least gave me ideas for new pieces.
I actually have to adjust what I said before a little. I don’t go back and revise chapters wholesale before the end, but I do still rejig the scene structure as I go if things don’t seem to be working out. I’ve just done exactly that.
I tend to write my first draft very quickly to get some major events and tone down (the last book was written entirely during NaNoWriMo). Then I go through a plot scrub before the next draft. Write, scrub, write, scrub.
Congrats on the signing!
If it’s a book then I just keep writing until I get to the end. If it’s an incomplete short story then I fiddle with a word or two while I re-read it and then pick up writing where I stopped.
Glad to hear the book signing went so well!
John Buchan (39 Steps) said the best thing you can do is view writing as sculpture: first you need a massive block of stone (1st draft) and only after you have that should you begin to craft.
Just completed a full-length play, and although it was painful, each draft was written completely anew, on blank sheets (ie not ‘over the top’ in Word). It made it a much stronger piece of work, I think.
Last thought – saw a very lonely author, plonked in the middle of our local Waterstones, waiting to sign, and all alone. Whose fault – her, the agent, the store? [for me, it’s a monologue to be written!]