Monday, May 23, 2011

In Which I Draft After Revising

I had a realization the other day that one of the hardest things about starting a new project, is switching my mindset from revising back to being creative again. I know it will happen, but writing those first couple thousand words are always painful. Things don't flow right away, even though I want them to.





I remember I had this problem with Glimpse. It took me a few days to start feeling the book. Once I hit some unplanned action at the end of chapter one, though, the book suddenly came to life.

I'm hoping the same will happen with Break Free. Right now, it's pissing me off. But I know I'll be hitting a lot of action pretty soon and I'm sure that will help zazz things up.

I just think it takes some excitement in the draft to fully and finally shake off the revising mindset, which we all know is less creative than actually writing.

What about you? Does it take you some time to warm up to a new draft? To shake off the doldrums of revisions?

20 comments:

Summer Frey said...

I've never really enjoyed drafting. Can't say if I like revision yet, but soon enough I'll have an opinion. I really like outlining, though! :)

Jessica Bell said...

I actually NEVER warm up during the first draft. It's the most difficult part for me. What I'm really good at is embellishing text that is already written. So once that first draft is done, that's when my fun starts!

Anne Gallagher said...

I hear you. It's so hard to break from revision mode to create again.

Why not just start with the action and get it over with. Then when you're halfway through the book, you can go back in and fill in the beginning. It beats being frustrated.

Janel said...

The stories I have been writing for Story A Day make me shudder. I have vowed not to look at them until the month is over, just so I won't completely freak out about how bad they are. Have fun and just ENJOY your writing. :)

Misha said...

It took me a while to warm to a new idea after finishing Doorways, but then some puzzle pieces fell into place and I fell in love.

:-)

Nate Wilson said...

Whether it's a new draft or simply a new chapter, it always takes some time to get into the groove and shake off the doldrums of "not writing." (I'm far too talented at procrastination.)

Teebore said...

I can usually toggle between revising and writing alright, so long as I'm dealing with two different stories.

I can write a new WIP while revising a previous WIP, but I have a hard time switching gears in the same book: anytime I'm revising and I hit a part where I need a whole new scene, or a scene needs to be revised to the point where I'm basically re-writing it from scratch, I'm like, "ah, crap...". Takes me forever to get back into "writing mode" for that WIP.

aspiring_x said...

jiminey! i'm right there with you! i can't stop trying to edit while writing, it's hard to just let yourself write crap, because you know all the time it'll take to fix it!!! yikes!!!
if you figure the trick of it out, letmeknow, k? thanks! :)

Ninja Girl said...

Right now, I'm querying one book while working on novel number 3. I'd heard other people say this was a good way to get your mind off the querying process, but...I really can't stopping thinking about book 2 enough to concentrate on book 3 (if that makes sense :/) I'm constantly thinking about how book 2 is doing out there in agentland, so it's harder to really focus on the WIP. Don't know if others have this problem. I'm glad that I'm creating something else and didn't just stop w/book 2. But it's tough writing something else, even though I love my new premise and storyline.

Lindsay said...

Hugs. I never warm up really. I do a bit of pre-planning on the inciting incident, middle and ending, but then I just write. I get annoyed with the darn thing when I edit. LOL.

the cautionary tale said...

I hear you! I have the worst time switching to JUST writing. I find that I try and edit as I go when I'm writing. Hopefully, I'll let up and just write.

K. Turley (Clutzattack) said...

The biggest hang up I get when switching is the need to keep revising whatever it is I've drafted, rather than putting a few words down and moving on.

Getting started is difficult. Sometimes I'll jump to a scene in the middle of the book, which I'm itching to write, just to get in the flow of drafting again, then go back and tackle the beginning.

Maria Zannini said...

Oh heck yes. We wear so many hats as writers, and I'm such a singularly focused person. I need time to get used to the idea that I'm doing something else now.

Sara McClung ♥ said...

I usually hit the ground running with the start of a new draft. It's the murky middle that always slays me... Which is where I am now. SIGH.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Yes, I do! Starting the sequel to CassaStar felt like I was racing a slug. Slow...

Holly Ruggiero said...

Yes. Sometimes I think it's right brain / left brain difference.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

Summer - well, if we're allowed to split hairs, i really like the daydreaming stage

Jessica - that's awesome! I'm not great at that, which i why i try and make a very solid first draft

Anne - for me, i have to write chronologically. If i skip around, chances are i won't return to write the beginning


Janel - Hah! And good advice

Misha - that's always the best when that happens

Nate - you deserve like the nobel prize of procrastination, if they ever get around to making it

Teebore - oh me too. That's why, when i know i have to add scenes after the first draft is done, i either do it before the revisions start, or after i'm mostly done with them

Aspiring - if i do, i'll let you know post-haste

Ninja - i fear i may have a bit of that problem as well. I hope the farther i get into the new novel, the easier it will be to let Glimpse go

Lindsay - i hear that! I mean, who don't?

Cautionary - i do a bit of editing while i write. But only once i've written my required amount for the day. No actual editing allowed while i'm supposed to be writing

Clutz - i wish i could do that. But action scenes are like rewards for me so i can't just jump right to them.

Maria - that's totally what it is! The singular focus i mean

Sara - ugh. The middle. I try to throw in some action and crazy junk there, just to keep me going

Alex - yeah, that's where i'm at. And with my day job being super busy, the slug is winning

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

Holly - there's probably definitely some of that cropping up too. Damn brains

Al said...

I almost always have a bit of a struggle going from one project to another. The first tends to get locked in my head.

To answer your question on my blog. Yes, it is certainly possible there are Tassie tigers still 'out there'. So much of Tasmania is wild, wild wild. Literarily thousands of square miles with no roads or people.
Not likely, but possible

Rebecca T. said...

Urgh. Yes. Trying to switch between the two makes my head hurt. Recently I'm having the opposite problem. Need to stop drafting and start revising, but my brain doesn't want to cooperate!

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