Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hello... old friend.

Just goes to show you. Even the best of intentions sometimes mean nothing. I was planning to not write anything new until my exam is done.

But you know when you're on a diet and decided that you won't eat chocolate? The more you insist on not thinking about eating it, the more it's on your mind.

Same thing here. The clamor in my head from all the no-I-am-not-writing's are making such a lot of noise that the odds of being able to concentrate look pretty bleak.

On Sunday I decided to go back to my second WiP. It's actually pretty horrible right now. After all, I started writing it while I was drafting Doorways, so I hadn't learnt anything close to what I know now. Here's a tip for those new to writing: Want to really know what good writing is about? Fix your own mistakes. But remember to make them first. 

Still, it's nice to just mess around without any pressure or goals.

It's actually not very far from the end, although I am seeing a looooooong rewrite in front of me. But that's a tale for another day.

Have you ever returned to a book that you got distracted from ages ago? How did it turn out?


  1. I've got two other ones besides Secondhand Shoes. Life keeps getting in the way. It drives me craaaazy.

  2. I keep thinking about my first book. I like the main story, but it too until... maybe my 4th book... before I really understood the lack of success I had getting an agent with it... it is on my list... always gotta have a project, eh?

  3. In May, I pulled out an old novel that I had written several years ago. Over the summer, I went over...and over it. I shaved off 7000 wds and 20 pages. It's in it's final critique stage with some readers. It's a new book!

    I just needed to shelf it for a bit while I learned more about the craft.

    I'm excited to head into the query stage.

    If the book tugs at your heart - I say go for it.

  4. Good advice to first make mistakes and then correct them. Write the first draft then work on it is my motto.

  5. Yeah, I pretty much did the same thing. When my second book wasn't working out as I'd hoped, I looked at first book and fell in love. The writing was rough, but the story was there. The hardest part is bringing the writing up-to-date, but I fell it'll be worth it in the end.

    Sometimes, we just gotta have that chocolate. ;)

  6. The more we write, the more we learn, definitely.

    Yes, I pulled out an old book that had been shelved for...a year? Two years? My co-author and I picked it back up and finished it and now it's about to be published. But MAN, it was a disasterpiece when we dove back into it! There was soooo much work to do--the kind that makes you wonder if it's ever going to be fixed.

  7. It is very hard for me to walk away from a project before the first draft is done. I cannot concentrate on two different sets of characters, but I generally let my first draft sit for a long time before I even think about editing, and in that time, I generally have another story ready to be told. 8)

  8. Hi Misha!
    I always return to books I have "abandoned" long ago. But then I need to shelve mine for quite awhile before returning to them. I find they are much better with my added years of experience :-) The book I am revising right now (and which my crit partner has) was first written nine years ago. Yikes!

  9. I've got a couple of old novels that I haven't looked at in a long time. Hmmmm, I'm almost a afraid to blow the dust off of them.

  10. Oh god, sure have. Earlier this year I re-read a novel I wrote in high school. I laughed most of the way through it. One day I might start working on it again, but not any time soon!

  11. Yes, Misha, I've done this plenty of times. I have some manuscripts that I work on, then put away and pull out a year later. Actually, it's amazing to see the mistakes jump out at me because in that year's time, I continued studying the craft of writing, so when I revise, I fix all those things that jump out at me.

    I'm going to self-publish a chapter book sometime in 2012 (whenever the illustrations are ready - one drawing for each chapter). I spent ten years working on it off and on. Each time I pulled it out, it got better and I was able to embellish it more, add a better twist. Just need to tweak it a bit more, get my final readers' approval, then get that baby out there.

    It's all been a learning process for me, and now I'm able to work much faster. So best of luck to you getting your WIP just right, at the point where you can smile to yourself and say, "It's time."

  12. It turned out pretty decent. I have lots of old manuscripts haunting the word processor files of my hard drive.

  13. Hey, good for you. If your writing is calling you, go for it! Great that you've learned much and can apply it now. Best of luck as you putter in your words!

  14. I am looking at a WIP I left behind months ago. I am trying to learn from it. I really, really suck at finding my own editing errors but writing almost everyday is helping me learn. BTW, thanks for the constructive crit comment on my blog. I appreciated it!


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