1. Alexa C. Morgan
    Offline

    Alexa C. Morgan Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Memphiss

    What not to do when you first come to America. A memoir.

    Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by Alexa C. Morgan, Sep 7, 2014.

    I'm not sure about the title, just ignore it. I do. And is not really a memoir either, so ignore that part too.
    What remains is the tragic story of my second re-write, or re-edit of the first draft of the ongoing novel I am exhaustingly (yeah, adverb) trying to finish.
    First draft was a hot mess, of a whooping 180 pages. I had to stop and listen to the cries of the Beta Readers that it was excruciatingly (yeah, adverb) boring and or confusing and or complete shite when it came to punctuation and grammar.
    I took a break (a very long break of at least 3 months) time in which I just complained about my writer's block and lack of skills, doubted everything and everyone and read Nietzsche just so I feel a little better about my own existence. I also had to combat my very father, who is a consecrated and prolific writer, advising me to keep on going no matter what, because as he said, worst comes to worst, it can't be as bad as "50 Shades of Gray". I guess he read this http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/340987215
    But it was. Not because I had "gasps" and "whispers" or BDSM (not yet, I will, is a popular trend now, have to insert some soft porn romance action scenes somewhere!) but because of the adverbs.
    I had no clue it was a mortal sin to have over 565 adverbs in between 65 000 words counted.
    When one of the readers pointed that out, I sobbed and hastily (yeah, adverb) bleached my hair blond. Then I continued my grammar rule of do's and don't's (apostrophes for plural, everyone!) research and wasted hours upon hours debating every single period.
    Had a meltdown. Got myself up with the help of my friend Whiskey and Vodka, and some words of encouragement from some folks that saw the "silver lining" hidden in between the filth of improper grammar.
    And here I am now, 65 clean pages in. Now I have different issues, but that is to be continued...
    PS. English is not my first language. Not even my second. So if you see any weird syntax or spelling or adverb spillage, please ignore it. I do.
     
    S S and JamesBrown like this.
  2. Alexa C. Morgan
    Offline

    Alexa C. Morgan Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Memphiss
    Today, I am busy with multiple clients (web crap) and it does not look like I am going to write much. I started last night to re-proof my first 3 pages of so and change the present tense to past tense / verbs to keep it more coherent. I hear that if you start a story in the past tense can't mix it with present tense in the same sentence of course, better not in the same paragraph either. But whatever. I might not. Undecided.
     
  3. Alexa C. Morgan
    Offline

    Alexa C. Morgan Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Memphiss
    I keep reading through people's progress journals. Seems a large majority take a large amount of time to write and or revise. Some, many years. Ugh.Cool. I wish I had the patience for that :) I think that
    1) I would completely be bored and just give up and run in the wild world, change my name and just overall, become a lawyer or something...
    2) dad, who's "dying wish" - no he is not dead just very old and impatient - is to see my first novel published (first book i published - poetry, second, essays rants and photography, mainly photography), would probably kill me if I won't finish it soon (aka, this year, aka it better be before X-Mass!). He never fails to remind me, that he can spit out a brick of 500 or more pages in 6 months or less including two revisions, and get awarded some goddam' literary award for it. His first book was written entirely in his head, while he could not move (missing a lung) on a hospital bed. When he was able to move somewhat his right hand, he typed it with two fingers - and still managed to finish and publish it in under a year's time. And of course it got a great literary award etc. Yeah, I am not jealous at all.
    3) God forbids, he might actually die (at 85, chances are high) which would be a terrible terrible thing of course, I already feel guilty as hell that I am not moving faster.
    Of course I do not write just to feel better about my dad's acceptance. I solved that issue long time ago when I realized that no matter what I do, he won't be happy, and would always want me to strive or achieve more. Is a tad of a stressing factor, but not too acute.
    Is been so far, about 1 year from first word dump to second re-write of the word dump. And that to me is horribly long. Because I am lazy, life got in the way and other lame excuses I used to write every two three days or every other week on average of 5 hours up to 10 / week. Of course not much progress, inexplicably :) I got irritated by the fact that I would only have 1-2 hours a day to spend alone writing, so told everyone " let me be or I kill ya when you sleep" and luckily (for them) they let me be. Practically since 8 am until 4 pm I can write, uninterrupted, if I so want. Or could. Usually is between noon and 3 sometimes earlier in the morning that I make an effort and write, and I advance with an average of a page/day and one or two at night (because yes, I also write between 10-2/3am, waking up like a zombie in the morning, but whatever, c'est la vie)
    Writer's block happen around page 50 of the re-write of 189 pages. Or you know - that time when you feel dumbstruck by anything else but the desire to write . No, I won't do my homework, screw it, I rather play candy crush for 8 hours because I need to relax, and find that inspiration thing. I didn't find it. Duh. Inspiration wasn't going to just show up and bless me with her presence just because you know, I am SO SPECIAL that I do not have to work for it. Screw you inspiration. I don't need you. I packed lunch in a tin lunch box went to a coffee place (where I pretended the barista was my personal assistant and the cleaning lady the lobby receptionist and everyone else was a special guest that flew in from very far away, just to witness me writing a masterpiece) and if this confabulation wasn't derisory enough, I figured I had a very important job, and if I did not do it, the world would collapse in itself, like my Sunday morning's Soufflé.
    I started two other novels. One, a complete nonsensical romance, 3 dime and a spit - worth, but it satisfied my exercise in exorcising my frustrations. I came up with an ok spy/thriller/plot to wrap around the characters and when I got stuck I started this self-help book about relationships and such.
    I abandoned both (momentarily) when Inspiration came back , tail between legs, apologizing profusely for leaving me. It also happen that perhaps my muse, Benedict Cumberbatch, made a call and got Inspiration to agree to come back (momentarily). But maybe not, maybe it was just me switching between genres, style, and ideas that kept me going and coming back to the main novel.
    Phew that was a long ass rant.
    I applaud you if you made it this far.
    And further. I am wondering. Writing stuff... what is the average time you'd say one takes to finish a 200 page novel? I'm not going to ask about publishing times because I do not want anyone to get more depressed on my account :)
     
  4. Catrin Lewis
    Offline

    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,685
    Likes Received:
    1,079
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    How long? Gosh, don't ask me. I finished the first version of my work-in-revision 30 years ago, hauled it out and started revising it last November, and I'm barely half-way though (and yeah, there's an adverb for you. It means something, it's staying in. Take that, modern literary police!). My work-in-progress I started back in 2009 and I might be half-finished with that, too. If you consider three months of not working on your novel a long break, bless you, you're doing a lot better than I.
     
    Alexa C. Morgan likes this.
  5. Alexa C. Morgan
    Offline

    Alexa C. Morgan Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Memphiss
    Is been a while. I was extremely busy with other stuff (not that is an excuse) but then I corrected first 5 chapters (still correcting) and added around 25 pages so far. I need to think of an editor, to correct my stuff and go through some structural (so needed) changes. I'm sure no one missed me :) and hopefully y'all did well and progressed with y'all writing ! Cheerios.
     
  6. Alexa C. Morgan
    Offline

    Alexa C. Morgan Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Memphiss
    Oy. In a block. One of those times when you feel that everything you wrote so far is crap.
     
  7. Hwaigon
    Offline

    Hwaigon Contributing Member Reviewer

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Messages:
    628
    Likes Received:
    139
    Location:
    Second to the right, and straight on till morning.
    Maybe I have not yet reached the language development stage where I realize the value of absence of adverbs, but as is, I don't see any problem with them. They have their function, to be sure, as do adjectives and prespositions. If you're referring to their overuse, then yes, any overuse seems inappropriate in the long (story) run.

    But to go back to the initial idea, I don't get the narrow-minded irritation at a certain word class. So I read in one newspaper article that the author was prompted by the editor that should he use a single adjective in the article he would be fired.
    Give me a break.
    The art of writing resides in an apt chosing from all the possible words there are, that is, including adverbs and adjectives alike.
    My few cent's worth.
     
    Catrin Lewis likes this.
  8. Shadowfax
    Offline

    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,529
    Likes Received:
    1,355
    The problem, for me, is not that you have used an adverb, but your choice of adverb.

    You are trying, in an exhausting manner, to finish your novel?

    You have taken a participle of a verb as an adjective, and tacked ...ly on the end to turn it into an adverb, and the combination of two verbs doesn't work for me. I may be wrong, but it may be the root cause of your readers' distress with your adverb use.

    I agree with Hwaigon, writing is all about using the right word in the right place. It's just that, very often, there is a verb that says EXACTLY what you mean so much better than using a less suitable verb and qualifying it with an adverb.
     
  9. Alexa C. Morgan
    Offline

    Alexa C. Morgan Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Memphiss
    Yes, is an exhausting endeavor . "You are trying, in an exhausting manner, to finish your novel?" Yes, I am. So my "adverbising" (I know, is not a word) the verb is correct, I think.
     
  10. Alexa C. Morgan
    Offline

    Alexa C. Morgan Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2014
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Memphiss
    You are right. I was exaggerating a tad :) for the sake of milking similar points of view. As in, I agree, is silly to try to write in a certain way and deprive one of style for the sake of maintaining certain literal theories that are obsolete.
     

Share This Page