1. TragicJuliet
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    TragicJuliet Senior Member

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    When do you Review?

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by TragicJuliet, May 26, 2009.

    I have an interesting question- I am writing a novel (who isn't?) but when do you all suggest is a good time to edit/review your own work? After the entire book is done? as you go? each chapter? Most "professonals" say to wait until its all completely done. What do you all do/suggest?
     
  2. Igu Soni
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    Igu Soni Member

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    I would say any time is good for a particular part as long as you've got over the enchantment of having written it. But then, I haven't written a novel in my life, so I may be wrong.
     
  3. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    i havn't either, but i would say after each chapter, as when you go back yo may re-write one bit then it might not fit with the rest, each chapter works for my longer shorts.
     
  4. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    I think the recommendation from novelists to write the whole thing first is because there are aspects of writing your story that will shift both subtly and dramatically as you go and will, therefore, make a difference in how you might rewrite earlier parts. Also, novelists often work from an outline of the particular story they hope to tell and already have a vision of where that story is heading. Getting that outline (or idea) down onto paper so it actually looks like a story is helpful to many writers who can then rewrite, rearrange, and revise stuff, knowing what else is surrounding that part of the story (and rearranging stuff in a way that fits better into a different, already written part of the story).

    On the other hand, many short fiction writers (like me), find that "writing" the story is more like working with clay, where we try to grow the words into a story by writing, rewriting, and fixing things in order to figure out what happens next, later on, or even before. Finding the "voice" and the heart of the story, even as we are writing it.

    I imagine the very best novelists do a little of both, really. But, like most approaches to anything creative, every individual has a unique way of accomplishing whatever it is they set out to do.

    That's my two ...
     
  5. TragicJuliet
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    TragicJuliet Senior Member

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    Wow, Manhattan I didn't even think about doing a little bit of both! Thank you for that insight

    Great analogy by the way!
     
  6. Igu Soni
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    Igu Soni Member

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    Yeah, ManhattanMss, great post.
     
  7. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    Oh, thanks, guys & gals. I've worked with writers over the years (just to explain where my "take" usually comes from). It's been quite an education for me, not to mention a glimpse into a very big world I think not many people actually get to see from anyplace other than their own writing desk. Forums like this are exceptionally helpful, but seeing (and actually working within) the actual process from the inside the (good and bad) manuscripts of all kinds of writers is quite an amazing privilege. I have to believe it's improved my own writing (and reading), and I know it hasn't hurt anything. So I try to pass along some of the things I've observed in case it proves useful to other writers, too.
     
  8. katica
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    katica Senior Member

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    That's what I do. I've written a novel all the way through before (although I've never been published yet.) Just review when you feel like it and can see things wrong with a chapter.

    But yea, there's no point in reviewing unless you have an outline of all of the events in the story already written. I had to make one to keep my storyline straight and know where I was going and successfully foreshadow.
     
  9. Laverick
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    Laverick Member

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    I am not writing a novel.

    Actually, I'm here for the purpose of reviewing (and maybe role playing if I get around to it. One of my guilty pleasures).

    Of course, I still write. I write to amuse myself. I make up challenges and when I have an idea I might slap it down in a one shot page or put it in one of my very long documents for fragments. With the one shot pieces I write the whole thing then go back and edit it.

    With my shorts I tend to edit it once over, after finishing it, then I leave it for a few days. When I read it again it's fresh and I catch all of the mistakes I didn't see before.

    Depending on how you organize, I would not suggest writing the whole book then going back and editing the whole thing. I would suggest reading the chapters over once, after finishing them. If it were me I would probably finish 3-5 chapters, leave it alone for a couple days then read through that batch and quick edit. Then I would keep writing, take a break, quick edit, write, take a break... Basically make a routine work week out of it.

    I've read, if you're writing a book you should write the whole thing first and not edit at all. Otherwise, you might get boggled down trying to edit it every step of the way. Personally, I could not hold out that long. It depends on the individual writing and how you've organized everything. The advice, to completely write the book first, comes from a published author, so it might be the better advice.

    If I were writing a novel I would write one chapter (or a short story) and then try to get it reviewed and all. Use it as a "pilot".
     
  10. cybrxkhan
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    cybrxkhan Contributing Member

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    Write the whole thing down first. Don't delay yourself. Get it all out while you still can. Then you can review, criticize, and edit. That's what drafts are for.

    Though I suppose it wouldn't be bad to go back a bit and just do minor changes, like maybe if you thought of a better word to use in one area or you realized that one sentence was unnecessary. But it's the large changes that will obviously accompany each succeeding draft - those you save until you finish writing the whole thing down, because if you keep going back and fixing the huge things (as I, unfortunately, have done too many times) you're going nowhere.
     
  11. Igu Soni
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    Igu Soni Member

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    I would disagree as to whether the whole novel will come out in one burst of 'still can'.
     
  12. TragicJuliet
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    TragicJuliet Senior Member

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    I think what they meant was, don't spend all your time reviewing and forget about major plot points to loose the flow of the book. Sadly, lately I've been doing so much RESEARCH that when I go to write my book I have to sit there for a few minutes trying to remember the feeling i had when I was writing, or where I was going with the last sentence that I stopped at
     
  13. Cheeno
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    Cheeno Contributing Member

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    Irrespective of what anyone says, everyone finds their own path through experience. When I'm working on a first draft, I write the scene or chapter longhand, say in the evening, and type it in next morning, using this time to give the piece an initial review. It helps keep the true-line close and active. In saying that, it's only after the first draft has been completed that the real work begins, in my opinion.
     
  14. wt6869
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    wt6869 New Member

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    I saw a good suggestion from an author. Can't remember where I saw it or I would give the author his credit. What he said was that he wrote a chapter. Then he would devote a portion of his writing day to writing the next chapter, and a portion of the day to editing and reviewing the previous one. I think he said that he usually had 3 hours a day to write and he usually spent 1.5-2 hours writing and the remaining time to review and edit.
    The author said that he was able to get a very good draft when finished this way.
    I haven't tried this method myself. But it really depends on how you like to work.
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    That's closer to my style. I always have the last bit of writing in my head, and tere are always things I know I need to go back and fix. I can't go ahead without addressing them, because they take up my thoughts until I deal with them.
     

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