Monday, July 16, 2012

In Which 600 Words Is Not 1500, Brain

So, as I've mentioned before, I've started working on my put aside WIP All That Remains (about an assassin girl, seeking revenge for her murdered family. FUN!)

It's been going kind of slow. Part of that is due to the day job being more or less crazy for a few months (and continuing on in that vein probably to the end of summer) but some of if is just because of me.

Sometimes writers ask other writers whether they think writing or revision is harder. My answer to that is "both". While I'm in the midst of writing, revising is harder. And vice versa. BUT! The hardest part of all is switching between one or the other. If I've been writing a new novel and I finish the first draft and have to start revising, ugh, I hate it. I just want to keep writing new stuff and not worry about revisions.

And it's the same the other way around. Which is where I am right now. Every time I open my word doc, I sit there and bitch and moan about how I wish I was done with it so I could dive into fixing it. I just want to go back to revising something so bad!

And then, because of that, when I stop my whining and get down to work (because I'm pretty good at reminding myself that if I want a MS to revise, then I need to sit my ass down and finish the WIP) I get in the groove and I write TONS of words and I feel great!

And then I check my word count and it's like 600 words. WTF, right?
I know it's just because I'm not yet in the writing groove, and once I do that I'll be able to sit down and pump out 1500 words in an hour or so and feel great (and to be fair, I did have one 3K day which was nice) but seriously brain, stop tricking me with the 600 words feeling longer. That's just not fair.





So what about you? Which do you like better: writing or revising?

20 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

No matter where I'm at in the process, I still prefer revisions. I'm such a slow writer - I just want to get the idea down on paper so I can see it and do something with it.
I did write over 2500 words on Saturday, which is a record for me! obviously, I did nothing else that day...

Rebecca T. said...

I definitely like writing better than revising. It's like I can't quite figure out the whole revision thing and I just end up writing new stuff. Which then needs to be revised. And makes me bang my head on my desk :)

Maria Zannini said...

Ref: ...but seriously brain, stop tricking me with the 600 words feeling longer.

LOL. The first time it happened to me I had to check it again because I couldn't believe I had typed so little. I felt cheated.

I prefer revising. Once I know the plot, it's easy to plug in the details.

Anne Gallagher said...

I think I like revising after I've let the ms. sit for a long time and I've forgotten what I've written. It makes me feel better b/c not only am I revising, but I'm also writing at the same time so it's a win win. If that makes any sense.

I'm back by the way.

Matthew MacNish said...

LOL. The grass is always greener, eh? I still love drafting, but with each new MS, the revising seems to become more and more enjoyable.

Dan said...

I do the "How many words was that? It had to be 200. Only 29? What?" all the time.

Nate Wilson said...

I must prefer revisions, since that's what I find myself doing every time I should be writing.

And oh, the days I reach 600 words are marvelous days indeed.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Ha! I feel your pain. Since I'm doing a rewrite, I'm both writing and revising at once. *wanders off looking for coffee*

CourtneyC said...

I'd add Plotting as a dog in this fight.

From those three, I prefer plotting. I can scribble notes and spend countless hours daydreaming about what could/should happen next. I can try on different outcomes and personalities all the live-long day.

Next, I like the writing down of it all. Taking my mad scientist ideas and making them come alive. It's Frankenstein writing, granted, but it's alive, baby!

Last are revisions. I'm no makeup artist, and the fine tuning seems to take so long. It's definitely a learned skill - doesn't come as natural as the creative writing did. Plus, it feels like it might never be done. I can revise a scene and feel great about it. I'm thinking, "Man! It was crap and now it sings!" Then I come back a few days later and stumble on that scene again and find MORE things to tweak. And the sentence or two I didn't touch the last time seem glaringly sub-par now.
It takes me an hour to get through 5 pages or so.

This may be the determination to buckle down and get it as perfect as we can before sending it out that makes the difference to being published or not. That's what I'm telling myself, at least. :-)

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Oh the meme should have read, "Brain...I am very dissapoint!" instead of using the words that it uses.

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, man-I'm totally with you on that transition thing... I refer to it as editing lag when it is the edit-to-writing transition. I think, though, when I do WriMos it's not as bad because I've got all this pent up story just waiting to flow. Any other start is harder.

Teebore said...

Like you, I'm a total "grass is always greener..." type (in life as well as writing), but I'd probably give the edge to revision. The hard part is keeping myself going on the initial writing. After that, it's much easier.

It's been going kind of slow.

Which, for you, is like what, it's taking longer than a week to complete? ;)

Jamie Gibbs said...

I prefer the unbridled creativity of writing without worrying about revision. One of the most enjoyable things about NaNo was "just write however the hell you want; revisions are future me's problem"

Johanna Garth said...

I'm a writing over editing kinda person. Any day, any way, hands down!!

Catherine Stine said...

Yes, switching back and forth between mss or stopping and starting is tough because you totally hav to regroup. I like revision better than writing that rough draft. BTW, I like your new website design. I've been overseas and it's been a while since I've been able to have fun posting.

Patti said...

It really depends on my mood. If I can turn off my internal "everything sucks" editor then I prefer to write.

DL Hammons said...

By far...without a doubt...writing a first draft. No inner editor, just pure imagination. That's where I am now and I'm loving it! :)

Elizabeth Twist said...

I have been fruitlessly working on the possibly imaginary skill of switching back and forth between editing and writing and second drafting and all the other stuff I have to do at will. It is hard. Like you, my brain gets in a groove and wants to stay there (except when it would rather stare at the ceiling or watch tv, which is often).

Joan Crawford said...

My favorite part about writing is putting words into italics. My least favorite thing is having to control myself when it comes to highlighting bits of text.

Hey, I was looking at some old posts of yours and I never saw that amazing tattoo that you and twin got! LOVE IT.

Gina Gao said...

Revising is such a chore! I simply like to write a post, and then publish it. That's all.


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