Thursday, February 17, 2011


Hi all! Remember to drop by tomorrow for another exciting installment of GPF! If you want to join in the fun, please mail me at (mishagericke(AT)gmail(DOT)com) to book a post.

So, let's get back to today's post, where I am doing something very different....

I am looking for a bit of advice today....

As you know, I have now started with crit partners. I have found it very enlightening and enjoyed critting other's ms's. But now I have received my crits and have to wonder.

Do I rework my ms to fix the errors pointed out? Or do I continue writing the story to get my rewrite done?

What, in your opinion, are the pros and cons to each?


  1. Hmmm...a dilemma indeed.

    I think I would continue writing. Save those critiques as you get them. Once the entire rewrite is done, then take them out and go through your rewrite with a fine tooth comb. That way, you don't loose momentum
    (Just my 2 cents...)

    Best of luck!

  2. If they're technical issues, such as grammar or syntax, I like to fix those right away.

    But story edits, I leave until the manuscript is done.

    My CPs and I exchange whole novels, so I can start editing as soon as I've read everyone's feedback. I generally wait until I see the response from everyone at once to see where they agree and where they don't.

    PS Even if your CPs agree on a point, don't change it unless you know in your gut they are right. Trust yourself first.

  3. Good question. It's one I've been wondering myself. Do I fix what I've had critiqued of the beginning chapters or move on and fix things after? I still haven't completely figured it out myself what I plan to do.

    I agree with Jen, though, about not losing momentum. I'd keep things in mind and perhaps fix from here on what you think will be an issue as you continue to rewrite and then go back to the beginning.

  4. I'm going to stick with the crowd on this one. Keep writing. If you're anything like me, things surprise you in the writing process. Things that may make the critiques invalid. Finish what you're doing first and then go back.

  5. Keep writing. Now, the big question is how many crit partners do you have and do they all say the same thing or something different?

    When you're ready to incorporate some of the feedback into your revisions create the pages in a different document and see how you feel about them both (or all).

    Keep up the good work.

  6. If it's easy stuff, like grammar and typos etc. I wouldn't worry about it yet. But if it's big things like places that don't make sense or stuff has to be moved around, I'd do it right now.

  7. In my view, it seems like finishing the rewrite and then focusing on the critique would make it easier in the long run.

  8. Definitely keep working on the rewrite. It will give you a chance to think over the suggestions and decide which ones are best for your WIP.

  9. I had a similar dilemma a short while back and what I did was finish my rewrite while taking some of my crit partner's advice and comments into consideration.

    There were certain areas in my MS that I knew could need some work and therefore I made the changes, others I felt were not to be touched regardless of my crit partner's advice.

    But basically I would think you should do which ever you feel is better suited for you. Remember that just because someone suggests a change doesn't mean you have to do it, unless you feel it is the right thing to do.

    Best of luck and I hope you find your solution.

  10. Hrm. Do you agree with the criticism? My usual advice is to keep writing to finish the draft. It's easier to edit when you have a complete draft. But the critiques suggest another plot line or character adjustment, you could always do some "practice writing" relating to the changes in another document to see if they might work in the future. If they're pointing out general writing quirks that can be easily fixed as you write, do those. But in general, do whatever it takes to finish the draft.

  11. It depends on what is comfortable for you to do. I critique as I go. Some writers want to wait until the ms is done. But I want to make notes or changes while they are fresh in my mind.
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  12. If they are major and will effect your story and you AGREE, then I would change it and then write with the new plot, etc. If you feel that it warrants that kind of change that is. If not continue with your ms.


  13. I'm a big fan of bulk edits. I'd go with finishing the rewrites first-unless part of the criticism is a huge gaping plot hole. Then it might help to address that first and then continue on with rewrites.

    If I try to revise with suggestions while I'm writing I loose the distance. The ability to look at the story as a whole and not be invested in the plot makes it easier to kill my darling scenes that don't really belong.

  14. I agree with Gideon86. It's so very important to keep up with momentum. But if the changes will effect the plot arc, better to do it sooner than delete later. If the changes are semi-small, just leave yourself notes in the text on what needs to be done when you edit.

  15. I would keep writing and then go back and edit when you get the time or get tired of writing.

  16. I'm an edit as I go type, but that does mean I sometimes edit things that end up being revised, I'd suggest that if it's character or plot things that need work then do it now because those changes could affect future work. Otherwise it can wait, unless you hate the idea of doing tedious changes on lots of chapters and crits later. Then it could serve as a nice break between writing scenes/chapters.

  17. Hi Misha,
    Every writer has his/her own way of doing things. You have to find what best works for you. When my mentor gives me feedback, I sometimes edit immediately. Other times I put it aside so that I can come back with fresh eyes. One of my friends finished her book but overlooked some corrections made earlier by her editor (I guess she forgot). Like I said, we all have our own technique. Try a few and decide which one is best for you ;)
    Good luck!

  18. It depends. If you're noticing errors in plot development, you might want to look at the changes now because it might make the re-write useless. If it's just grammatical, I'd go on.

  19. If the errors/notices are plot or character wise, definitely figure it out now and change it now. Continuing will only give you more work in the end.

    Otherwise, keep it in mind and do it when you finish.

  20. Make note of them, particularly the ones you KNOW will make your work better, but I'd keep going.

    It's a bit hypocritical of me, because I've started my MFA and get critiques regularly from my awesome mentor and NEED to go back and fix things, even though my novel isn't finished. But if I weren't obliged to turn in revisions once a month, I'd definitely just keep trucking through.

    Although if you're undaunted by the process of doing both, you could try for 20% revisions and 80% new stuff.

  21. Yes, it’s always a tricky one – to write or revise, that is the question. I know it’s terribly frustrating when someone answers a question with a question, but that’s what I’m about to do. My question – how big are the revisions? I ask because, in my opinion, if the revisions are massive and will affect the plot from your current point forward, then it’s worth revising so that you can continue in the right direction. But if the revisions are reasonably minor, you’d be better off leaving them and continuing on with your current draft. Just maybe make some notes if there’s anything you think you might forget when you return to make the changes.

    I’ve done both while writing my current novel. At the moment, the first half of my book (apart from the first two chapters) are set in 2010, while the second half of my book is set in 2002. When I revise, I’ll be setting the entire book in 2002. I made the decision to set it in 2002 halfway through this draft, but knew that it wasn’t a big enough change to warrant starting all over again. Hopefully when I do get around to revision I’ll still agree with that decision!

    Hope this helps you somewhat!

  22. Hey all thank you so much for the great input. Your advice, as usual, have been invaluable to me. :-)


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