Chasing “The End” - Weeks 24-25 Recap


Here’s how my revision process usually goes.

  • Fast draft a very sloppy 1st draft.

  • Spend a lot of time on draft 2 cleaning up the dumpster fire that was my draft 1.

  • When it sorta-ish makes sense, send draft 2 to a number of critique partners, even though I know it still needs a lot of work.

  • Get feedback, do another draft focusing on one or two main pieces of feedback.

  • Send draft 3 to more critique partners. Get more feedback.

And on and on and on until I get to draft 6-7. At this point, I typically feel like my manuscript is polished enough to query. Of course now that I have an agent, this would probably be the point where I’d email it to her and get her thoughts.


There is nothing wrong with this process.


I repeat.


There is nothing wrong with this process.


I’m all for revising in whatever way works best for you as a writer!


And this way has served me well for a really long time.


But for my current WIP, I’mma tryin’ something new.


I think this Year of Writing every day has got me inspired to try new writing routines and mix up my usual writing style.


Before when I revised, I chased the ending. By that I mean, my goal was to correct mistakes and address CP feedback, but do it in the way that got me through the draft and to “The End” the fastest. Even though I knew there were problems with a draft, I never slowed down to address them. Instead, I wrote myself notes to fix them in the next draft and kept plowing through until I got to the end.


While this is a totally acceptable way to revise, it ultimately lead to a LOT of drafts and a lot of rounds of feedback. (Thanks you CP’s for rereading my manuscripts a bazillion times!)


I’ve decided to try and cut back on the number of drafts for this manuscript. This means I’ve been taking my revisions a lot slower and re-editing as I go. What do I mean by re-editing? After I write a couple chapters, I go back and analyze every single word and make sure that the chapter is as polished as I can get it. I don’t focus on perfecting just one element of the story (like plot or setting or character development); I focus on perfecting all of them at once.


I’ve never re-edited during a draft before. Again, my goal was always to get to the end as fast as possible and re-editing definitely went against that goal. In fact, I was very much against re-editing as I thought it was too tedious and slowed down the writing process in an unhelpful way. I think I thought this because as writers, we tend to dwell on a single scene (sometimes a single sentence) for ages and not move forward with revisions. So I never wanted to be that writer who couldn’t complete a draft. Or who took years to complete one.


Again, this way of thinking isn’t wrong or right. Every writer has totally different opinions and approaches to drafting.


It’s just lately, my opinions have changed.


I’ve been doing a ton of pondering about my writing process and am trying to shake things up and see how they work for me. So yeah. I’m trying new things, testing new processes, opening my mindset to a different approach for getting a story from draft 1 to polished novel.


I’ll keep you posted on how it goes!


Some stats!


My mood regarding the past two weeks: Acceptance of the writing I’ve gotten done.


My mood for this coming week: Be happy with what you are able to accomplish and don’t feel bad for what you can’t get done.


Other insights: I didn’t write for 4 days in the past two weeks (bringing my total to 12 days that I haven’t written). This was the first time that I felt really okay with taking time off and breaking my Year of Writing goal. It was a relief to not have that flood of guilt for not writing. And what I did get written, I was really happy with. It’s the small wins that count!

That's it for now. Til next time!

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