rewrites

I finally bit the bullet and decided to go print out my novel at Officeworks. All my editing, up til now, has been on a computer screen. But I only have a few more publishing companies to send it to and I really want it to be the best story it can be, you know. And I heard that printing it out really helps.

Well I don’t know if it’s the time away from the story or the fact that it’s now on paper but I just spent an hour or so slaving over the first two chapters. Rewriting every sentence. It will be better at the end of this process than it was at the start. But will it be good? That’s the question.

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I’ve always had lofty ambitions. But they’re never out of reach.

rearranging

I’ve found that a lot of my second draft (so far) hasn’t involved rewriting things but rather rearranging. My beginning had a huge stack of backstory that wasn’t necessary right away so now I’m jumping straight into the story instead. I’m also trying to insert chapter breaks which is fairly tough. It’s forcing me to really consider my pacing and where I’m spending too much time.

In terms of actually rewriting things it’s mostly dialogue – I have a much better feel for my characters now and I’m enjoying individualising their conversations.

I can see my story improving and becoming more interesting as I chop and change it. There’s still a ton to do before I get into really nit picky stuff and perfecting individual sentences but I have to say that I’m enjoying this stage quite a lot!

taking stock

Well I gave my first draft a full read through and the main thing which is obvious to me is that my writing improved drastically over the course of the novel. This is good, I suppose, but means that the first half of my novel will need huge changes (really huge). The second half feels much better though, especially in terms of pacing, so that’s something.

I think I’ll need to spend a few evenings planning the changes to the first half before I start writing. It needs a little bit more… excitement.

on advice…

Our teachers always used to worry that we would believe everything we read on the internet. They spent hours drumming in the fact that Wikipedia was not a real source. But they needn’t have spent so much time on it I think. My generation knows better than anyone how easy it is to put trash up online. We know intuitively what sort of websites we need to check, and how many, before we believe something.

As for writing advice, well, the internet is full of it. There are pages and pages telling you how to write, what to write, how to edit, how to get published and so on. It goes on forever but it’s mostly trash. The authors of the webpages have (mostly) never published a book themselves and there’s a lot of bitterness. There’s also a plethora of instructions to contradict those found on publishing company websites. The bitterness is indicative that getting a novel published is hard work. The contradictions are a warning that the author is out of touch with the present circumstances. In any case, I do not wish to go there to learn how to write.

Before beginning my second draft I decided to find at least one piece of reputable advice. I chose Neil Gaiman because I like his books and he seems adept at using the internet… Without further ado: the most trustworthy piece of second draft advice I found in about 10 minutes of searching.