1. Theogenes
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    Theogenes Member

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    How much revision do you do? (novel)

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Theogenes, Aug 6, 2015.

    Hey everyone.
    I have tried writing many stories, yet I have always given up. My latest attempt seems somewhat different (though it is still very much in its infancy). I am a mere 5,000 words in and only on my second day of writing. What makes this one different is that it is all I think about. I think this is the one I will finally finished. According to my plan, it will be around 90,000 words, and it is a fantasy novel.

    Anyway, my problem is that as I write, I feel like everything I am writing is awful. Not so much the dialogue, but certainly the setting descriptions, and maybe how I introduce a scene. Is it normal that a second draft be VERY different from a first draft? Because I feel that whilst the plot will be the same, my second draft will be very different and this worries me.

    Hope to hear back from you all soon,

    Theogenes
     
  2. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why does it worry you that your second draft will be different? If you're confident the plot will remain the same, what are you worried will change?

    Whatever your reason, your writing certainly should change with your second draft. It should improve, but this is a good thing, yes?
     
  3. Theogenes
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    Theogenes Member

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    Maybe it is just paranoia following a night of no sleep and a day of caffeine. I just can't help but think most of my words will become useless.

    Fair point. It is a good thing.
     
  4. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm fast reaching the conclusion that, when all's said and done, there really only is one piece of advice, and it could be applied to 97% of the questions posted on this forum; just get it written.

    A wannabe writer will do one of two things - get their novel finished, in whatever state, and worry about the quality later. Or they'll procrastinate, analyse and worry so much that they never finish.

    And let's face it, it's never going to be the latter of those types who get their work published.

    I'm very much the latter, but that's my problem and doesn't alter those facts.
     
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  5. Theogenes
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    Theogenes Member

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    Very good point. I shall try to stop fretting and complete a really crappy manuscript rather than worry all of the time. Likely easier said than done, but I'll give it a try and "just get it written" as you put it. Thanks for contributing.
     
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  6. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Don't get me wrong, Theogenes, it certainly is easier said than done. If you do complete a manuscript, you'll have achieved something I never have, and probably never will. I know exactly where you're at and sympathise entirely.
     
  7. Theogenes
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    Theogenes Member

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    So what genre do you like to write?
     
  8. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    Back when I had writer's block I kept rewriting every paragraph until it was good enough for me. And I'm glad I did because it helped a lot when I finally got back in the groove of things. As for second drafts I don't see how it should be scary for it to be different if it's better. Of course everbody knows my view of drafts
     
  9. Theogenes
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    Theogenes Member

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    I'm knew so I don't XD
    What is your view of drafts?
     
  10. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Futuristic, I suppose, but not spacey-wacey stuff. I like themes set on earth; dystopias, apocalypse stuff.

    I'm longing to write a future-set road novel, but have so far been unable to come up with an intriguing enough reason for sticking a couple of friends on the road.
     
  11. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    Basically that if you do well enough the first draft there is no need for another. And that you're never going to be good enough (in your eyes - I know, lots of people love my writing but I still feel like I'm not even close to how good I want to be) to write exactly what you want. And that if you do your best there is no need to rewrite it in a completely new draft. Obviously fixing bugs in your writing I'm all for and do all the time. But if you work hard enough and fix those bugs I see no real reason to go back and rewrite.
     
  12. Theogenes
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    Theogenes Member

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    I see where you are coming from. I do feel though, that if I personally attempted to do as you do, I would NEVER finish it. In fact, that's exactly how all of my previous attempts at other stories failed (most of the time. A couple I just decided were actually bad ideas that I just happened to get excited about).
     
  13. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    Yeah, each writer knows what's best for their own work.
     
  14. DueNorth
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    DueNorth Active Member

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    Wow! You've never completed a story and you are planning to write a 90,000 word novel? What about starting with some shorter pieces? Personally, I think wriypting is mostly about revision (thank goodness for cut, paste, and delete). I try to get my storyline down, then go back and fill in scene and character details, etc. I also find that what I have written looks different to me depending on my mood maybe being different the next day, revise, revise, revise, get some readers, then revise some more.
     
  15. CJT
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    Maybe the NaNo style would help - especially if you are writing so much in the burst style you are are, currently!?
    Get the whole book out, don't go back at all, until you have finished the first draft - don't worry about the quality of the prose, just get the book down. Once you have that done, THEN go back and edit/revise/add/remove. It will change drastically on the second draft, but that will be because while were getting the initial concept down your mind will have has picked up a few extra ideas along the way, and you'll undoubtedly pick up even more as you go back over it.

    I have been reading about NaNoWriMo for a while now, and I like the idea - I like the idea of aiming to get a 50,000 word first draft out in a month, but more, I like the ideas that I have read from various people who have had a go at this, and what they have taken away. I am currently getting a load of mind maps together, as I have had a whole raft of ideas pop into my head recently, and am going to take one (I think I know which, but still have a few maps to do yet), and aim to do exactly that - push through to the end of the first draft, no editing; once finished, I can then go back, and let any new ideas creep into the second/third/etc. drafts.

    If, though, you like to feel that a scene is finished, before being able to move to the next - mapping out the basic story first could help with getting ideas flowing on the 'per scene' basis, and help with getting a central idea firmed up, before moving into that actual writing. I use mind mapping software for this, as I can get quite complex, and on paper, it all gets lost, but use what's comfortable, if you try it.
     
  16. Kallisto
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    Kallisto Active Member

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    My English professor gave great advise to those who lack confidence in their writing as they're writing it. When you're writing out your first draft, and you're expecting it to be perfect, what you're expecting is to do what not even professional writers have ever accomplished: Writing a perfect draft on the first go around.

    Most manuscripts, depending on what they are, go through numerous revisions. It's normal. It's as the saying goes, "There's no good writing. Only good rewrites."
     
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  17. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    "The first draft of anything is shit." ~ Ernest Hemingway
     
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  18. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    WAY too much. but also not enough. I do a lot of revision but my revision is shithouse. My first drafts were laughable, so it's been necessary. I'll get there one day.
     
  19. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Confidence is something that comes over time as you write. And, like inspiration, it really can only come from within. If you have a good, solid reading base, you already know what good writing looks like. My advice would be to go ahead and write as planned. You will have to revise. There is no such thing as a publishable first draft - everything requires editing. Wordage can always be trimmed; language can always be tweaked; plot holes can always be filled in.

    I've been revising my novel even as I've been pitching it.
     
  20. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Pick a time of day to write. Decide how long you're gonna write. Each day, show up at that time, sit down, write until your time's up. Repeat.

    Whether the first draft of anything is worth reading or not, getting the entire thing written is what counts in the long run.

    Some people believe first drafts are created just so they have something to pick apart and rewrite, but without a first draft, there can be no second or subsequent drafts.

    So in the words of Larry the Cable Guy, "Get 'er done." :)
     

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