Another fun thing to do: rewrites

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The good news is: I’ve signed a contract for Halfway Home with Ylva Publishing.

The ‘bad’ news is: rewrites.

I see how they’re necessary, but sometimes it just seems brutal to cut again into your story – which of course you thought was already pretty polished (always compared to what your first draft looked like).

It’s to make the story better, of course. But you still fret. And this comes from a freak who cherishes the editing process. Going back to the writer’s board, reading up on writing tips, make more notes, and put your thinking cap on.

Another good news, though, is: nobody knows your story like you do. You’re an expert. You know names, dates, the whole frakking history of the piece. And you will prevail, of course, you will.

I guess patience is the virtue you need most of at this point. Patience with challenges you thought you had already mastered. Patience with the fact that what you think is pretty perfect, is not.

Endurance, too. And tea (in my case tea, in yours probably coffee).

But at the end – and here is more good news – stands the published work. And that’s, after all, the Holy Grail of writing, yes?

So, as an appeal to you and me (’cause I need to appeal to myself here since I’m not the most motivated person in the universe), rewrites are not only necessary, they’re fun. You get to explore new facets of your story, get to go deeper, get to revisit favorite scenes just to look up some random fact. Your work is still your work, but you make it stronger.

That’s pretty neat and possibly the best news of all.

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Let’s take a break

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For many a writer writing is not their daytime job. Many writers simply don’t earn enough money with writing to make it their only job. So, writing has to take a back seat and is put into the hours before and/or after work and on the weekends. It kinda makes writing a second job, but is seen by many as more of a hobby – since you don’t really need to do it.

But for people who write, not writing is not really an option. And so, we think of it as a job and by extension think of the time we do not write – the time we wish we would be writing – as procrastination. But, really, aren’t we allowed to take a break from writing sometimes?

Sure, we are. But we will still mourn all the time we lost at not writing. That’s the special paranoia of the writer’s mind. Still, we take breaks, we procrastinate. We do stuffs other than writing. Sometimes it relates to what we write, though, and we sneakily call it ‘research.’

For example, I’m revising a story right now that I’ve written (but not finished) years ago. A superhero story. I’m also playing a lot of Avengers Alliance on facebook and watch a lot of superhero movies – voila, research! Marvel universe has me kind of in its thrall right now. I rewatched most of the X-Men movies, even watched the two Hulk movies (and I actually liked Ang Lee’s Hulk better). I spend a lot of time wondering about the hero narrative, and try to incorporate that into my story.

And then, there is stuff I watch (because most of my non-writing is watching stuff on the internet) just because. The other day, I thought I haven’t watched enough movies with Mary McDonnell. So, I went on imdb.com and found out about her movies. Since, I rewatched Independence Day (Emmerich sacrificed Mary’s character to the cause, not happy about that!), watched Sneakers and Tiger Warsaw – a movie I had wanted to watch back in the days when I was a Patrick Swayze fan, but never got around to.

I actually enjoy 80s movies a lot. The time before cell phones, the big hair-dos, the clothes and the wonderfully strange visions they had of the future – our presence. Of course, I also go to the movies, and a lot of that is about the experience of it: the smell of popcorn, standing in line for tickets and snacks, sitting in a room full of strangers, feeling the excitement.

Of course, movies are not entirely unrelated to my writing. Neither is reading. The consumation of stories is fodder for my imagination. But then, what in a writer’s life is truly unattached to the imagination, the inquisitive mind, the need to know every circumstance in order to  bring it to the page? Not much, maybe not anything. And maybe, even when we’re procrastinating, we’re in fact working. We’re looking at life.

But that’s enough philosophy today. So, what are you doing to relax? Do you think that everything in your life relates to writing, or am I spreading humbug?

NaNoWriMo – Update [2]

A whole week of NaNo – or rather, writing. I’m no stranger to writing every day, but as with reading books for classes at university, it’s always a little more difficult if you ‘have to.’ I don’t know if others feel like that, I do.

But it was a good week, not great, not sensational, but good. I wrote almost every day. Yes, I took a day off, but only one. I reached my daily requirement of 1,666 words twice, so far. I’m at 10,724 words which means I got my 10,000 word badge yesterday.

Don’t fool yourself, writing every day (even almost every day) is hard. My life’s drama does not allow for uninterrupted writing time. Sometimes, I’m sitting here at night while the tv is blaring, listening to music to drown out the tv, trying to concentrate on the words in my head. I don’t know if any of what I’ve written has a continuous rhythm, because I can’t read it out aloud. Hard time writing, at the moment, but at least I’m finding the time.

I really like my story. I’ve done some research and changed the locale from Reading to Bradford. I read about James Garfield and his wife, Lucretia (for some reason, he seems to me one of the most fascinating presidents of the U.S.). And I’ve researched first editions of books, just to know, you know. I find that time travelling stories need some reserach, especially history. But Carpe Tempus is also about books, about writing – and I’m doing what I criticize in others: wirting about writers. It’s tricky, and now add the fact that I studied literature and you have someone really nerdy, jerking literary theory onto an electronic page.

I’d have to read those parts again to see if I’d have to edit them, but that’s for later. Now, it’s just writing, looking the most imminent stuff up, playing – I’m playing with this, and it’s a lot of fun. I know, I said it’s hard and it is, but it’s also fun because it’s writing.

I’ve written 5 chapters so far. Wells is sorting through her mom’s extensive library, meets her mother’s lawyer with whom Wells went to high school. She also meets someone new, coincidentally, the woman who owns the local book store. Sorting through her mother’s papers, she feels that something is not quite right but she can’t put her finger on it yet. And that’s where I’m at. It’s still not much, maybe it doesn’t even make that much sense, we’ll see. I’m going word for word.

Carpe tempus, lovelies.